Copper price hits five-year low as global economic growth outlook weakens

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
19 January 2015

The price of copper has fallen to a five-year low against a background of reduced demand in China.

The price plummeted to $5,655 per tonne on 16 January, compared to January 2014’s LME monthly average price of $7,293, after the World Bank lowered its outlook for global economic growth.

Analysts said construction provided the main source of demand for copper, though it is used in a variety of industries, and a housing market slump in China had depressed prices.

Jeffrey Cohen, procurement research analyst at IBISWorld, said: “The world price of copper hit its five-and-a-half year low in response to the World Bank lowering its outlook for global economic growth.”

Cohen said China was the largest consumer of copper “by a long shot” and “demand for copper is expected to continue to decline, thus further bringing down prices”.

IBISWorld also said an oversupply of copper and a strengthening dollar had contributed to the price fall.

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