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Forecast: Copper Ready for Rally to $11,000 in 2011

January 9, 2011 at 15:29 by Vladimir Vyun

Previous year was very positive for commodities, including copper. In fact, by the end of the year copper managed to rally even during times when all other commodities were losing strength. This trend has changed recently as copper joined slump of metals and other assets in face of the US dollar’s rally. Is this a beginning of long way down for copper or this is just a small correction before another jump to records?

The same fundamentals that have helped copper to rally in the previous year should bolster the metal in 2011. As global economy gradually recovers, so does demand for copper. According to the International Copper Study Group, world consumption of the industrial metal rose 8 percent in the first three quarters of 2010, while mine production increased just 0.8 percent and refined production grew 5 percent. Exhaustion of copper mines reduces mine output, while technical problems and political tensions curb refined production. As for demand, China remains the major consumer of the metal and its economy continues to show an impressive growth, spurring demand for copper.

Despite all the good signs, there are some reasons for concern. As Dian L. Chu (Chartered Economist) suggested, China’s tightening measures may cause decline of demand for copper. Besides, there’s a speculation that Chinese copper inventories are much larger than estimated. It’s believed that huge amounts of the metal simply aren’t reported. China’s demand isn’t the only reason to worry as any noticeable slowdown of economic recovery, be it because of Europe’s debt crisis or because of any other various reasons, may hurt demand for copper badly.

Even considering all possible problems, most economists remain very bullish on copper. The Goldman Sachs promises that the metal will rise to $11,000 per metric ton this year. Copper Investing News provides several forecasts, some more cautious, promising $10,000 as a target, yet Francisco Blanch, head of Global Commodities Research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, predict $11,250 as a possible price in 2011.

If you have any questions or comments about the future trading for the Copper, use the form below to reply.

One Response to “Forecast: Copper Ready for Rally to $11,000 in 2011”

  1. trader

    Everyone is worried about the growing Chinese economy and jobs going overseas, but I think they should be more optimistic. America is great for generating new jobs and dealing with change. My grandfather said railroads once lost a lot of business when electric companies switched from burning coal to nuclear power. Railroads also needed less workers when trains stopped using cabooses. Yet while the railroad jobs may have disappeared, new jobs like webpage designers have appeared. Horse buggy manufacturers became car manufacturers and typewriter companies now make computers. Many industries that were supposed to disappear like movie theatres due to VCR’s and accounting because of computers have never been stronger.

    Farmers made up 90% of the labor force in 1790, but only made up 2.6% of the work force in 1990. While women only made up 18% of the work force in 1900, 46% of the work force was female in 2007. There are fewer farmers yet more
    men and women are working now because the labor market is more diverse with new jobs.

    Jobs that are shipped offshore will be replaced by new technical jobs in the US.

    While manufacturing jobs may go overseas to cheaper locations, the United States still manufactures more than any other country.

    Although Americans may have currently overpriced themselves in the global free market in some industries and more jobs may go overseas, America will always have factories. I highly doubt that the United States will buy fighter jets from China. Although the average Chinese worker makes $0.57 per hour now, as wages in China, oil, shipping, and the Chinese yuan rise, buying American products will not seem to be so expensive. Chinese products also have a reputation for poor quality and counterfeiting. BMW does not worry that Chinese car companies will steal their customers. If you really don’t want jobs to go overseas, don’t buy imported products.

    Many jobs cannot be outsourced, either. You are not likely to call a doctor, lawyer, mechanic, mover, driver, electrician, real estate agent, or plumber in China to fix a problem you have in the USA. Are all the farms, restaurants, hotels, utilities, churches, government workers, artists,
    musicians, writers, actors, and athletes in the US going to be shipped overseas, too?

    Even if all the manufacturing jobs in the United States went to China, wouldn’t the Chinese need American skills? You could move there and teach English. Most of those container ships returning to Asia are EMPTY. Why not think of something the Chinese would like to buy? Americans are creative. Do you think China will be known as the new Disney and Hollywood? Will China become famous for apple pies, hamburgers, hot dogs, baseball, gun rights, democracy, free speech, and religious freedom? Even if China becomes the largest economy, the USA will still be a destination for immigrants seeking freedom.

    While many Americans are looking at the doom and gloom aspect of outsourcing, why don’t they look at the good sides of cheaper prices due to foreign imports? Products like clothes, furniture, and electronics are all
    much cheaper than they were 30 years ago. A VCR had an average price of $1000 in 1977, but can be bought for less than $40 today.

    Alarmist headlines in the news reporting that the size of the Chinese economy will surpass the US economy are overblown. There is little doubt that the GDP of China will be the biggest in the world one day, but China has a population of 1.3 billion people compared with 300 million in the USA. Naturally, the world’s most populated country should have the most of everything, but would you rather live in a place where 300 million people have a GDP of $18.8 trillion or a place where 1.3 billion people live on $18.9 trillion? The USA shouldn’t be worried about not being the biggest economy in the world. America is just changing from having a big slice of a small world economy to having a smaller piece of a bigger pie.

    Many people fear that China will become a military threat to the USA, but they ignore the fact that the US spends $650 billion per year on defense while China spends $90 billion annually. China is also Communist and has few friends in the world while the USA has much better relations with Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the rest of the world. The US fears China more not because China is getting richer, but because China is Communist. India is also developing, but is not scary because it is a democracy.

    People also complain that China sets their currency artificially low, requires foreign manufacturers to hand over their designs, requires some products sold in China by foreign companies to be produced locally, subsidizes loans to Chinese companies, and blocks some foreign websites. However, the US also subsidizes agriculture and airlines, protects shipping, doesn’t issue visas easily, bails out car companies and banks, and gives low-interest loans and grants to businesses. If you are worried about the growth of China and the loss of American jobs, America would be better served by supporting tax breaks for manufacturers in the US and penalizing US companies who close factories to move overseas.

    People once were in a panic about the Soviet Union and the Japanese economy in the 1980?s, but those fears turned out to be much ado about nothing.

    If Chinese Communism is so great why doesn’t the US adopt it?

    If all else fails, the USA economy implodes and the Chinese economy soars, you could move to China and marry a Chinese person.

    Workers don’t like to compete with illegal immigrants, robots, or to have their jobs downsized and offshored, but finding the lowest cost is an economic fact of life. Instead of complaining, workers would be better served by being flexible and being willing to retrain. While change is sometimes scary and being cautious is good, hysteria is not. Think for yourself and don’t be a Chicken Little.


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