Copper Prices Surge on Global Supply Concerns and Potential Production Cuts

By Patricia Miller


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As copper prices surge on global supply concerns, investors can seize investment opportunities in tightening market conditions.

Cross section of many slim copper pipes piled on top of each other.
Global Manufacturing Recovery Tightens Copper Market Conditions

What You Need To Know

Copper prices are nearing their highest levels since January last year due to concerns over global ore supply and potential production cuts by Chinese smelters. Chilean copper giant Codelco, the world's biggest producer, is struggling to recover from its lowest output levels in 25 years. Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (TSX: IVN) has reported a drop in output at its Kamoa-Kakula complex, while drought conditions in Zambia are adding to supply uncertainties.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) analysts predict "large deficits" in the copper market from the second quarter, which could push the market into backwardation in the second half. The global manufacturing sector is showing signs of recovery, leading to expectations of tightening market conditions for copper. However, China's smelters, which produce over half of the world's refined copper, are considering output cuts after ore processing fees plummeted.

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Why This Is Important for Retail Investors

  1. Investment Opportunity: The surge in copper prices presents a potential investment opportunity for retail investors. Keeping an eye on the copper market can help them identify potential gains and diversify their investment portfolios.

  2. Supply and Production Impact: Investors need to be aware of the impact of global ore supply and potential production cuts on copper prices. Understanding these factors can help them assess the future direction of copper prices and make informed investment decisions.

  3. Market Conditions: Monitoring the global manufacturing sector and its recovery is crucial for retail investors. Improving market conditions can lead to higher copper demand, potentially driving higher prices and offering investment prospects.

  4. China's Influence: China, as the largest producer and consumer of copper, significantly impacts its prices. Retail investors should track Chinese market developments, such as property crises and consumer confidence, as these factors can influence copper prices and investment opportunities.

  5. Interconnected Metals Market: Retail investors should not overlook the interconnectedness of the metals market. Monitoring the trends and price movements of other base metals, like iron ore, can provide further insights and help investors identify potential correlations and investment opportunities.

How Can You Use This Information?

Here are some of the investing ideas that can be explored using this information:

Value Investing

Retail investors can evaluate copper-related companies to identify undervalued stocks based on the potential for increased copper prices and demand.

Value investing searches for undervalued companies that trade for less than their intrinsic values, with the expectation that they will eventually be recognized by the market.

Growth Investing

By analyzing the global manufacturing sector's recovery and increasing copper demand, investors can identify growth opportunities in companies involved in copper production and supply.

Growth investing focuses on stocks of companies expected to grow at an above-average rate compared to other stocks in the market; learn more in our article titled 'What is Growth Investing?'.


Retail investors can add copper-related assets, such as copper mining stocks or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), to their portfolios to diversify their investments and potentially benefit from the copper market's performance.

Diversification spreads investments across various assets to reduce risk and volatility in a portfolio.

Read What Others Are Saying

Bloomberg: Copper Near 14-Month High as Global Supply Risks Support Prices

The Times: Metal miners digging the boom in copper and gold

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What you should read next:

Popular ETFs

Some investors prefer to invest in stocks via an exchange-traded fund for ease and reduced risk. Some popular ETFs include the following:

  • United States Copper Index Fund (CPER): Focuses on copper futures contracts, offering an entry point for investors interested in the futures market rather than physical copper or mining companies.

  • Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX): Provides exposure to the copper mining industry by tracking the Solactive Global Copper Miners Index, suitable for investing in copper mining operations.

  • iShares MSCI Global Metals and Mining Producers ETF (PICK): While not solely focused on copper, this ETF includes copper in its diversified portfolio of metals and mining producers.

  • Sprott Junior Copper Miners ETF (COPJ): This fund targets smaller copper mining companies and tracks the Nasdaq Sprott Junior Copper Miners Index, offering growth potential from junior miners.

  • iShares Copper & Metals Mining ETF (ICOP): A newly launched ETF that covers copper and other metal ore mining, focusing more closely on industrial metals.

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This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Patricia Miller does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Patricia Miller has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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