The iPath Series B Bloomberg Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: JJC) is having a rough go of things, but that pressure could soon ebb. This month, the copper exchange-traded note is lower by more than 4%, putting it about 12% below its 52-week high.
That means JJC meets the definition of a correction, but that correction could soon be, well, corrected as tight supplies potentially boost copper prices.
Some analysts are growing concerned that global troubles could drag down the industrial metal as well. Along with the trade concerns, copper prices were weakening on softening global economic data. The base metal is a significant component in many industries, including construction, and is widely seen as a barometer for global economic health.
“Copper recently touched its lowest price level in more than two years, reflecting investors’ worries about muted economic growth and the temperamental trade dispute between the U.S. and China,” reports Myra Saefong for Barron’s. “As supplies of the red metal tighten, however, analysts think commodities traders could overcome concerns about the economy, prompting copper prices to move higher.”
Copper Can’t Stay Low
Earlier this month, copper hit a bottom-barrel two-year low as chaos was ensuing in equities. Due to copper’s widespread use, particularly when it comes to home building and commercial construction, it’s a good measuring stick of how well the economy is doing. Good news: sentiment toward the red metal is improving.
“Sentiment for copper, however, could turn bullish because demand fundamentals show strong support for higher prices,” according to Barron’s. “Basing his estimates on reported figures, Matt Badiali, senior research analyst at Banyan Hill Research, thinks that the world will need to produce 5 million metric tons of copper per month by 2030—about 2.5 times more than it will produce this year—in order to meet projected demand from the electric-vehicle industry.”
A supply deficit is also brewing and those deficits usually spark upside in precious and industrial metals.
Copper “is expected to see a deficit of about 190,000 metric tons in 2019, with that deficit widening to 250,000 metric tons in 2020 as refined production lags behind usage, according to an International Copper Study Group report released in May,” reports Barron’s.
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