Copper: 5 things to look for in 2019

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As we start 2019, the copper market is faced with the prospects of softer demand growth, given the macro economic outlook, constrained mine supply growth, ongoing disruptions at smelters, additional uncertainly around changes to Chinese policies towards copper scrap imports and low visible exchange stocks. All of these factors will no doubt lead to another year of volatile prices. However, in the absence of a major economic downturn, copper’s supportive fundamentals should keep prices skewed to the upside.

Table of contents

    • Copper prices – underpinned by tight fundamentals in 2019
    • Global demand headwinds loom on the horizon
    • Global economic slowdown and fear of an approaching recession
    • Chinese demand: what else can the government offer to boost economic growth?
    • Tightened scrap import policy to further increase market deficit?
    • Mine production will struggle to see growth, assuming 2019 disruptions are higher
    • Concentrate market to tighten, but a recovery in smelter performance is key

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