Copper, ‘the new oil,’ leads metals surge amid global economic rebound – by Tim Shufelt (Globe and Mail – April 29, 2021)

With an economic boom of epic proportions fast approaching, the natural resources needed to fuel the global resurgence are facing intense demand pressures.

While prices have soared across the spectrum of commodity markets, including forest products and agricultural commodities, industrial metals have recently taken centre stage in financial markets.

These are materials at the heart of global construction and manufacturing, and collectively, their prices have risen by more than 75 per cent since bottoming out in March, 2020. “Copper is the new oil,” Goldman Sachs analysts declared in recent report.

On Tuesday, the price of copper on the London Metal Exchange hit US$9,965 a tonne, and is close to surpassing the record high set in 2011. The dominant force behind the bull market in copper and other base metals over the past year has been Chinese demand.

Now, with China’s post-pandemic economic rebound set to cool off, some analysts believe growth in the rest of the world is well on the way to picking up the slack.

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