(Bloomberg) — As head of copper trading at Trafigura Group, Kostas Bintas typically spends his time trekking around the globe, signing the deals that last year helped make Trafigura the biggest merchant of one of the world’s most crucial metals.
By March this year, he was stuck holding video calls with clients and colleagues from his home in Geneva. With the world on lockdown, the outlook for most industrial metals looked bleak. Yet even then, Bintas says there were early signs copper could emerge from the crisis even stronger.
If anything, he’s even more bullish today. Demand is bouncing back in China and stimulus packages being unleashed across the developed world promise to transform the long-term outlook — particularly with spending on copper-intensive green energy infrastructure.
The coronavirus has also disrupted mines and delayed new builds, throttling current and future supply.
“Copper is coming out of this crisis differently,” Bintas said by phone from Geneva. “When lockdowns were eased and people started to return to work, we were surprised to see our customers not only taking deliveries of volumes they’d already bought, but requesting more to cover themselves in case there were any further disruptions to supply.”
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