The world is currently facing a global copper shortage, due to increasingly challenging supply flows in South America and increased global demand. Analysts and experts are forecasting long-term shortfalls, which could also push the price of copper to record highs. As an essential material in the manufacture of electronic systems and industrial machinery, it is a major problem worldwide, and large copper shortages are forecast to last until at least 2030.
Copper at record highs
According to some experts, the mineral will remain above 8,500 dollars a tonne for the next few years, even exceeding 10,000 dollars.
As a result of the fall in the dollar and speculation that China, the world's largest copper consumer, will reactivate its demand, copper reached 9,550 dollars in January. As a result, its cost is also currently affected by a restriction in supply.
Factors behind the copper shortage
Unrest in Peru
Peru accounts for 10% of the world's copper supply, making it the world's second largest supplier. The South American country has been caught up in a wave of political protests that have led to unrest and, as a result, at least 30% of copper production has been compromised.
Although the country's mines are still operating, the risk of closures is increasing and roadblocks threaten the transport of copper. In January, the multinational Glencore closed its operations in the country for 11 days after protesters looted and set fire to the deposit.
These difficult times for copper also extend to Chile, the world's largest copper producer, which recorded a 7% drop in November last year. Environmental problems and the government's efforts to raise taxes, coupled with the new constitution, have led to the postponement of major investments by powerful companies such as BHP Group.
Reopening of China
On top of all this, the reopening of China and the growth of the automotive industry and energy transition have revived demand for the red metal, putting further pressure on copper resources.
CMC Markets market analyst Tina Teng says: "China's reopening has a big impact on copper prices as it improves its demand outlook and will further boost copper prices due to supply shortages as the transition to clean energy makes extraction more difficult".
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