MINING PHILIPPINES CONF: CRU sees copper prices at $7,715-8,820 until end of the year

Copper prices will be about $7,715-8,820 per tonne until the end of the year, CRU Strategies associate consultant Richard Schodde told Metal Bulletin.

Copper prices will be about $7,715-8,820 per tonne until the end of the year, CRU Strategies associate consultant Richard Schodde told Metal Bulletin.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Mining Philippines 2012 conference and exhibition, he said uncertainty about Chinese demand dominated the picture. “We don’t see any breakout in prices right now,” he said.

“There’s a large stockpile in China. The question is: how easy is it for people to access those stockpiles? They can’t be released and also [these supplies are] tied up by other factors, which constrains their ability to be liquidated,” he added.

The copper supply has been tight, because mining projects have been delayed and deferred in response to the decline in Chinese demand, Schodde told delegates.

The economic environment is gloomy in Europe and the USA, and there has been some concern over the latest figures for China’s industrial production and construction figures, which suggest its economy is slowing down, but, even then, these are still good figures, Schodde added.

“This is gloom, doom and no boom,” he said, “but it gets better later [in the decade],” he added.

CRU sees copper’s price growth prospects as “mild” in the first half of this year, and “warm” in 2013. The hot metals in 2013 are tin, aluminium, vanadium and palladium, he said.

Undeveloped copper projects will continue to constrain supply
There are 560 undeveloped copper deposits worldwide, containing 880 million tonnes of copper.

“Not all the projects will be developed. [Historically, only] 60% of the copper [that’s] discovered gets mined,” Schodde said.

The top 10 undeveloped deposits contain 200 million tonnes of contained copper, he added.

Shivani Singh
shivani.singh@metalbulletinasia.com

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