Copper prices have slid by around 10% this year to $6,700 a tonne. Since 2011, as Longview Economics points out, a structural bear market has been underway, with prices down 32%, and the outlook remains negative.
Chinese demand growth edged down last year and this trend should endure. Half of China’s copper demand stems from the construction and infrastructure sectors, and a slowdown in real-estate construction is underway.
Inventories of unsold properties are at a 12-year high and prices and transaction volumes are heading south, foreshadowing fewer housing starts and hence lower copper demand.
The government is clamping down [...]