- Demand for copper has exceeded supply for years and 2019 looks to be no different.
- China is the top consumer of copper and recent trade statistics paint a bullish picture.
- Copper and related companies have struggled despite strong fundamentals and trade conflicts are responsible.
- A thawing of trade tensions with the signing of a trade deal bodes well for copper and COPX by extension.
The Global X Copper Miner ETF (COPX) offers exposure to a wide range of copper mining companies. However, anything related to copper has not done well the last two years in terms of price action. Some people may, therefore, be skeptical of copper mining companies. But the circumstances that have shown to be detrimental to copper companies seem to have changed. The road ahead looks to be better than the one behind, which is bullish for those wanting to go long copper companies. The reasons why copper mining companies have disappointed and why they have better prospects are what will be covered next.
The fundamentals of copper are sound
It’s true that copper prices have fallen over the last two years. That’s clearly no good for mining companies in COPX that depend on copper. But in terms of supply and demand for copper, the picture looks very different. You wouldn’t be able to tell from the price action, but demand for copper is more than robust. So much so in fact that demand for copper exceeds supply. According to data from the International Copper Study Group (“ICSG”), demand for refined copper has increased by a third over the last ten years. The strong growth is driven by China, which now accounts for almost half of all copper demand in the world. Copper is tied to economic growth and no country has grown as much as China in recent decades.