Copper prices reach record high in 2010



2010 saw Copper prices reach an all time high after industrial metal prices recovered spectacularly. The non-ferrous metal was selling for $9631.75 per metric ton at the London metal Exchange – highest in recorded history, before falling marginally.

The metal price zoomed by 15% in the month of December 2010 and recorded a 30% annual price growth over 2009.

Low inventory and global recovery of the manufacturing sector triggered the price recovery of the industrial metal.

As demand for the metal from emerging economies beat their pre-recession levels, demand has far surpassed supply. Manufacturing is gaining momentum in Europe and the US as well and future prices in world metal exchanges indicate that price will move further north in short-term.

Worldwide Copper stock fell to nearly one third levels in 2010 and metal analysts fear that prices may jump more rapidly than anticipated if global economy recovers faster in 2011. With the exception of China – which had stockpiled large inventories during 2009, most countries faces the risk of higher input cost.

Non-ferrous metals have shown steep price increase this year with Nickel registering a 55% growth while Tin grew by 25%. Precious metal Palladium recorded a price jump of 94% during the year.

The year 2010 saw an overall increase in commodity prices although most prices remain below the levels seen in 2007-08, before the global recession had set in.

Energy prices grew by 13% to hit post-recession highs driven by strong demand from the emerging economies as well as the oil producing bloc OPEC’s unwillingness to hike production.

Darren Heathcote – head of trading at Investec in Sydney said: “It is still a positive picture for metals next year. There is sufficient demand from investment perspective to maintain a relatively bullish trend, in gold in particular”.

Other commodities like Soy and Corn have also shown positive price movement with Wheat growing by as much as 44%.

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