Copper Is The New Oil, And Prices Will Soar 50% To $15,000, Analyst Says | Old North State Wealth News
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Copper is the new oil, and prices will soar 50% to $15,000, analyst says

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Copper is emerging as the next indispensable industrial commodity, mirroring oil’s rise in earlier decades, a top commodities analyst said.

This time around, new forces in the economy, namely the advent of artificial intelligence, explosion of data centers, and the green energy revolution, are boosting demand for copper, while the development of new weapons is adding to it as well, according to Jeff Currie, chief strategy officer of Energy Pathways at Carlyle.

“Copper is the new oil,” he told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday, noting that his conversations with traders also reinforce his bullishness. “It is the highest-conviction trade I’ve ever seen.”

Copper has long been a key industrial bellwether as its uses range widely from manufacturing and construction to electronics and other high-tech products.

But billions of dollars pouring into artificial intelligence and renewable energy are a relatively new part of copper’s outlook, Currie noted, acknowledging that he made a similar prediction in 2021 when he was an analyst at Goldman Sachs.

“I’m confident that this time is lift-off, and I think we’re going to see more momentum behind it,” he said. What’s different this time is there are now three sources of demand—AI, green energy, and the military—instead of just green energy three years ago.

And while demand is high, supply remains tight as bringing new copper mines online can take 12 to 26 years, Currie pointed out.

That should eventually send prices soaring to $15,000 per ton, he predicted. Coppers prices are already at record highs, with benchmark prices in London at about $10,000 per ton, more than doubling from the pandemic-era lows in early 2020.

At some point, the price will get so high that it will create “demand destruction,” meaning buyers balk at paying so much. But Currie doesn’t know what that level is.

“But I go back to the 2000s, I was bullish on oil then as I am on copper today,” he added, recalling that crude shot up from $20 to $140 per barrel at the time. “So the upside on copper here is very significant.”

Copper was also a key catalyst in BHP’s proposed a takeover of Anglo American, a $40 billion deal that would create the world’s top copper producer. But Anglo has rejected the offer and recently announced plans to restructure the group, including selling its diamond business De Beers.

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