Ever since world economies began their long march toward recovery, base metals, along with related exchange traded funds (ETFs), have seen more demand.

The current supply of copper looks like it may be dropping and steel producers may be flooding the market.

Copper prices jumped more than 3%, hitting a 13-month high on Wednesday, and BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) declared force majeure at the fourth-largest copper mine in the world, reinforcing supply concerns, writes Barani Krishnan and Rebekah Curtis for Reuters. Copper, along with other commodities, rallied as the dollar dipped.

Copper futures for the December delivery finished at $3.0360 per pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange –  the last time copper hovered around $3 dollars was in September 2008. (For more information on copper, visit our copper category.)

China Steel, Taiwan’s foremost steel producer, will reduce its domestic price by 4.5% in December, indicating that steel prices could be bottoming out. The company expects steel outlook to improve in 2010 as world economies recover, reports Ken Wills for Reuters.