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  • Writer's pictureRaj Pillay

Copper Prices Climb To Highest Level in FOUR Years.

Copper is the third most consumed metal after iron and aluminium. In its pure state copper is a hard yet easily forged heavy metal with a reddish-orange colour. Because copper has many positive physical, mechanical, chemical and biological properties it is used in a number of industrial sectors and areas of life.

Copper has been used by human beings for thousands of years and it is a component of bronze and brass alloys. The oldest finds of processed copper were discovered in Anatolia and originate from the 8th millennium B.C.

The most important trading venues for copper are the London Metal Exchange, the New York Mercantile Exchange (COMEX) and the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

China the biggest consumer of Copper.

Producers, buyers and traders of copper—joined by commodity sector analysts and journalists—are trying to figure out how China’s intended ban on several scrap grades may affect that nation’s overall red metal supply situation.

China’s government, led by its Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), has taken a series of steps to inspect and regulate the nation’s use of imported scrap commodities. The inspections initially focused on plastics recyclers, but also have included metal recyclers who handle “Category 7” types of scrap such as discarded motors and plastic-coated wire and cable.

In mid-July, the government stated its intention to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to ban all types of Category 7 materials, which includes many forms of plastic scrap, mixed paper and scrap motors, wire and cable.

Subsequently, executives and managers in the red metals sector have been scrutinizing the policy changes and international trade data to try to determine how this ban will affect the way copper is supplied to China’s sizable manufacturing sector.

Commodities-focused reporter Andy Home of Reuters wrote in early August that the rising price of copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) resulted from “a wake-up call [that] came in the form of news of a potential Chinese ban on some imports of copper scrap.”

Home says the bullishness is understandable initially, but may not have staying power. He refers to China as the world’s largest importer of scrap metal, a nation that takes in in more than 3 million metric tons per year. “The market’s bullish take is that a partial ban will mean heightened demand for imports of copper in other forms, whether mined copper concentrate or refined metal,” he continues.



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