Reference no: EM131173901
Use the Wall Street Journal article below “Copper Prices Slide to 5 1/2-Year Low” to analyze the recent changes in the market for copper.
a) Demonstrate the changes in price on a supply and demand graph. Use specific price(s) and quantities when you can.
b) Give a brief explanation for any shifts in supply or demand.
Copper prices extended their rout and fed worries about global demand for the industrial metal.
The most actively traded contract, for March delivery, fell 7.7 cents, or 3%, to $2.5015 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 4.4% for the week.
It was the lowest close since July 29, 2009, when futures settled at $2.4775 a pound.
Much of copper’s recent slide has been ascribed to a worsening outlook for the global economy. Demand for the metal tends to ebb and flow with the pace of business activity, as copper is widely used in manufacturing and construction. In recent days, both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank cut their forecasts for global growth.
“Chinese growth is slowing, Europe is still in the doldrums, and copper has always been a major economic bellwether,” said Frank McGhee, a broker with Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago.
China is the world’s top copper consumer, accounting for 40% of demand, while Europe is in second place.
But copper’s decline also reflects falling production costs, and further losses are in the cards, Goldman Sachs analysts said in a research report. Sliding oil and iron-ore prices reduced input costs, making copper production less expensive, they said.
Goldman estimates that the cost of mining a metric ton of copper for the most expensive 5% of the world’s copper producers will drop by roughly 20% to $5,600 in 2015 from $7,000 a ton last year. Goldman expects copper prices to average $2.36 a pound over the next 12 months.