If a wave of heists in which robbers steal the metals in the United Kingdom is any indication, copper and nickel exchange traded funds (ETFs) are becoming a hot commodity.

Hundreds of tons of nickel and copper from a Liverpool warehouse were stolen in May, the latest in a rash of commodity heists spurred by higher prices. Andrea Hotter and Liam Pleven for The Wall Street Journal report that the metals were taken from Liverpool’s docklands area that was owned by warehousing company Henry Bath & Son, a unit of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Several million pounds were taken. [Steel ETFs Face Headwinds.]

What’s interesting is that copper prices are actually down right now. Diane L. Chu for Commodity Online reports that copper prices are about 10% off their year-ago price. But as demand from China and other emerging markets wanes, India seems to be picking up the slack. [Listen to Our Podcast About Metals ETFs.]

According to Commodity Surge, nickel prices are set to surge as demand exceeds supply. As with many other commodities these days, nickel prices are largely dominated by the Chinese market, and at this point that is anything but predictable. If the Chinese demand surges by the anticipated 18.6%, or to about 510,000 tons, prices may spike. [Will the Copper Rally Continue?]

Rather than steal, you might find it easier to just use ETFs. For more stories about copper, visit our copper category.

  • iPath DJ-UBS AIG Copper ETN (NYSEArca: JJC)
  • First Trust ISE Global Copper (NASDAQ: CU)
  • Global X Copper Miners ETF (NYSEArca: COPX)

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.