Copper, along with related exchange traded funds, are on a multi-year decline and the ongoing bear market may get worse before it gets better.

Since the February 2011 high, the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: JJC), an exchange traded note, has declined 54.3%.

Year-to-date, JJC decreased 17.5%, the iPath Pure Beta Copper ETN (NYSEArca: CUPM) fell 11.1% and United States Copper Index ETF (NYSEArca: CPER) dropped 15.3%.

Additionally, the producers equities-backed First Trust ISE Global Copper Index Fund (NasdaqGM: CU) was down 20.7% and Global X Copper Miners ETF (NYSEArca: COPX) was 20.0% lower so far this year.

Goldman Sachs argues that the base metal is headed for a seven-year-long bear market cycle, reports Aza Wee Sile for CNBC.

“It is, in our view, highly likely that the four-year trend decline in copper prices is set to continue through at least 2018,” Goldman Sachs said in a note.

Consequently, the bank has cut its three-, six- and 12-month copper forecasts to $5,200, $4,800 and $4,800 per ton, respectively from $5,500, $5,550 and $5,200. In contrast, the industrial metal rallied to a high of over $10,000 metric ton in 2011 on huge demand from China’s housing boom.

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