Analysts forecast modest recovery for copper, driven by global energy transition


Copper prices are expected to mount a modest recovery next year as burgeoning demand from the energy transition offsets global economic weakness and healthy mine supply, a Reuters poll showed.

The cash copper contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was expected to average US$8,625 per metric tonne in 2024.

Copper prices have shed about 15 percent since touching the highest in more seven months in January, pressured by weak economic growth in China, fears of recession elsewhere and high interest rates.

“We see copper grinding higher over the course of 2024 as the two opposing structural trends persist – the struggles of China’s property market on the one side and the energy transition on the other,” said Carsten Menke at Julius Baer in Zurich.

Analysts forecast a surplus of the metal used in power and construction this year of 112,000 metric tons, with oversupply rising to 302,500 tons next year, up 61 percent from the previous poll in July.

Access bank Zambia indicated that oil prices climbed about two percent on Wednesday ahead of a keenly watched meeting of the United States Federal Reserve for clues on interest rate policy, while the conflict in the Middle East remained in focus.

Brent futures rose US$1.68, or 2.0 percent, to US$86.70 a barrel.

Meanwhile, gold prices were little changed on Wednesday as investors stayed on the side-lines ahead of the United States Central bank’s policy decision.

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