Copper MMI: Sub-Index Drops But ICSG Forecasts Global Deficits

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Copper price
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The Copper MMI dropped one point this month, primarily driven by a 0.6% drop in the LME copper price.

This comes as no surprise as base metal price increases have slowed in November, while LME copper prices saw a small pullback.

Benchmark Your Current Metal Price by Grade, Shape and Alloy: See How it Stacks Up

Source: MetalMiner analysis of FastMarkets

During the first week of December, LME copper prices fell sharply. However, we can expect these movements in bullish markets as a mechanism for prices to digest previous gains.

Trading volumes also support the uptrend. LME copper prices remain well above May levels, when MetalMiner provided a “buy signal” to forecast subscribers.

Chinese copper output could increase by 300,000 tons in 2018. Some analysts suggest higher output together with a slowdown in the Chinese real estate market may result in a slight cooldown for copper prices.

However, no signs suggest a cooldown.

According to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), the market could see a a 50,000-ton deficit for 2017 and a 105,000-ton deficit next year.

Copper Scrap vs. LME Copper

The drop in scrap prices this month appears sharper than the one for LME copper prices. Chinese scrap prices decreased by 2.71% this month. However, both LME copper and Chinese scrap copper do tend to follow a similar trend.

What This Means for Industrial Buyers

As copper prices remain bullish, buying organizations may want to “buy on the dips.”

For LME copper prices, buying organizations can also read more about longer-term copper price trends with our free 2018 Annual Outlook, or take a free trial now to the Monthly Outlook.

Free Sample Report: Our Annual Metal Buying Outlook

Actual Copper Prices and Trends

In November, most of the prices comprising the copper basket fell.

LME copper decreased this month by 0.6%, retracing even more in early December. Indian copper prices dropped by 1.7%, while Chinese primary copper prices decreased by 3.18%. Prices of U.S. copper producer grade 110 and 122 fell by 1.29%. The price of U.S. copper producer grade 102 dropped by 1.23%, up to $3.99/pound.

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