Friedland: Copper Prices May Experience an “Explosive” Surge at Any Time

On January 25th, as reported by foreign media, Robert Friedland, founder and co-chairman of Ivanhoe Mines, stated in an interview this week that the spot copper market is “very, very tight and currently in a state of shortage.” He predicts an explosive rise in copper prices this year as the Federal Reserve is set to cut interest rates.

This copper mining executive expressed that by mid-year, the price of copper, denominated in dollars, could “rise substantially.” “We believe copper prices are bottoming out. I am willing to bet on copper prices reaching $9,500 per ton,” he said.

Friedland referred to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, which stated that due to the global copper market reaching its tightest state since 2021, copper prices this year will touch $9,000 per ton.

The investment bank wrote: “This year, the closure of the Cobre Panama mine in Panama, combined with declining copper grades in Chile, will cause the market to tighten prematurely.”

Bullish Perspective

To support his bullish view on copper, Friedland pointed out that China consumed more copper in 2023 than in any previous year, indicating that the demand from the world’s largest consumer economy remains strong.

He said, “Everyone is talking about its weak real estate market, which might account for 20%-25% of the economy, but there is also military demand and national security demand, so physical purchasing is very strong, and inventories are extremely low.”

Friedland added, “So really, it’s like a powder keg, and once the Fed cuts rates in the second half of the year, it will explode.”

Friedland stated that this growth is not just occurring in China. “India, Europe, and other parts of the world are growing, and the world economy’s demand for ESG and green energy remains high.”

However, as he pointed out in an interview at the end of last year, a copper price of $9,000 is far from sufficient to stimulate the industry; a price that truly stimulates new mine investment needs to reach $15,000.

The mining executive again emphasized that the growing military demand and energy transition are the main drivers of the rise in copper prices.

[Source – 上海有色网] Friedland:铜价可能随时出现“爆炸式”上涨

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