Wednesday, April 22, 2009

World copper usage down in '09, up in '10 says the International Copper Study Group reported yesterday that the world copper market should have a surplus of at least 345,000 tonnes this year, and about 400,000 tonnes in 2010, as mine production grows, scrap production is constrained, and usage drops in 2009 then rebounds in 2010.

The world usage figures are (in thousands of tonnes):
2008 17,995
2009 17,230 (down 4.3%)
2010 18,333 (up 6.4%)

I have to say that following market analysts forecasts on copper (and other commodities) produces weekly mental whiplash. It's going up. It's going down. It's up but for bogus reasons. It's heading down but don't worry because all kinds of other factors will turn it around. How can any copper mining executive decide whether to invest a billion dollars or so in a new mine with these kinds of variables and uncertainties? [this is rhetorical - I think I know the answer]

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