Commodity Blog

Commodity news, technical and fundamental analysis, market data on precious metals, energies, industrial metals, and soft commodities


Copper Joins Other Metals in Massive Selloff

May 15, 2018 at 16:36 by Andrew Moran

Copper futures are falling as much as 2% on Tuesday as other precious metals crater to 2018 lows. The industrial metal is sliding on a strengthening US dollar and rising inventories, sending copper prices closer to the crucial $3 threshold.

July copper futures tumbled $0.041, or 1.34%, to $3.052 per pound at 16:13 GMT on Tuesday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The red metal is now down nearly 2% over the last month and has plunged more than 8% year-to-date.

The US dollar is rallying as the greenback surged 0.5% to 93.13. The 10-year Treasury note yield topped 3% helping the buck finally post some impressive gains. A stronger currency is bad for commodities priced in dollars because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

A bump in stockpiles also did not help copper prices. Copper inventories in London Metal Exchange (LME)-approved warehouses are up close to 10,000 tonnes over the last week at 291,350 tonnes. Copper supplies at warehouses regulated by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) advanced to nearly 280,000 tonnes.

Losses in the copper market were capped by reports that China’s industrial output soared 7% last month, beating market forecasts of 6.3%. This is also up from a seven-month low of 6% in March. Moreover, Chinese financial institutions extended $185.5 billion in net new loans in April, rising above projections of $180 billion. China is the world’s largest consumer of the industrial metal.

Economic data out of Beijing did not prevent investors from selling copper as many traders have confirmed funds are shorting the metal commodity.

In industry news, researchers from Freedonia Group prognosticate that international demand for copper is expected to increase 4.2% annually to 36 million metric tons, or $261 billion, as the global electric vehicle market expands.

Electric and hybrid vehicles require more copper use due to higher power/voltage requirements necessary for that category. The study reveals overall global vehicle production is expected to increase from about 92,500,000 total vehicles in 2016 to almost 102,000,000 by 2020.

Other metal commodities are experiencing a sea of red. June gold futures plummeted $27, or 2.05%, to $1,291.70 an ounce. July silver futures slipped $0.38, or 2.28%, to $16.265 per pounce. July platinum futures fell $16.60, or 1.81%, to $898.30 per ounce. July palladium futures shed $27.30, or 2.74%, to $968.40 an ounce.

If you have any questions and comments on the commodities today, use the form below to reply.

Leave a Reply