The price of copper suffered its seventh straight day of declines on Thursday, losing more than 3% in New York to $2.8205 or $6,220 a tonne on the Comex market, its lowest level since July last year.
It was one of the busiest days of 2018 on commodity futures markets with with over 2.3m tonnes of September copper worth $14.6 billion exchanging hands by mid-afternoon. 2018 star performer nickel also succumbed on Thursday, becoming the last of the base metal complex to drop below its 100-day moving average at $14,200 a tonne. Zinc’s woes continued and the metal is now down nearly 20% year to date.
Reports out on Thursday suggest the trade spat between the US and China, responsible for half the world’s consumption of copper, could quickly turn nasty. President Trump’s 25% tariffs on more than 800 Chinese goods worth $34 billion kick in midnight Friday. The latest round comes a few months after duties on steel and aluminum exports from China and other countries went into effect.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs poured cold water on the notion that a trade war represents a serious threat to raw materials, saying most of them aren’t likely to be significantly impacted, and after recent declines now’s the time to buy.
“The trade war impact on commodity markets will be very small, with exception of soybeans where complete rerouting of supplies is not possible,” analysts including Jeffrey Currie said in the July 4 note
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