Copper prices hit a two month high for the week ending May 16th, impacted by a combination of falling warehouse inventories of raw copper and technical tightness in the markets.
Despite the recent recovery in the LME-(London Metals Exchange), market analysts remain bearish on copper’s long term pricing for the rest of this year. That attitude is being arrived at based on factors such as the Chinese construction market and a surge in supplies. New housing starts in China remain weak.
China still accounts for 35-40% of global copper consumption. In addition there is a large amount of copper accumulated in bonded warehouses used for profitable lending. However demand for copper seems to be improving outside of China.
We all take electricity for granted; we turn the power on, lights come up, computers turn on, etc. When our electrical gadgets don’t work, we try to troubleshoot the issues ourselves. This troubleshooting is why we have a yearly safety reminder – May is National Electrical Safety Month.
A circuit breaker is one of the most important safety devices in your home, but most people don’t give them much thought until their lights go off or they can’t watch TV because the breaker has tripped. When the electrical wiring in a building has too much current flowing through it, the breaker cuts the power.
The date may tell you its spring, but it still looks like winter when it comes to Lake Superior. The major effect of ice on the Great Lakes is crucial because it impacts many things from the fishing industry to commercial shipping and has actually had an impact on steel conduit. The amount of ice cover on the Great Lakes varies from year to year. However, according to the NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab, the average thickness of ice on Lake Superior is 8.9 inches thick.
A key ingredient in the production of steel conduit is iron ore. Iron ore loaded on ships needs to come through the Great Lakes and make its way to production facilities so that it can be used in the production of rolled steel, which in turn is used to make steel conduit. According to the director of traffic services for the US Coast Guard, while shipping times are improving on the Great Lakes, there are 60 vessels waiting to lock through Lake Superior.
In wake of one of the worst winters in decades, there are calls for more US ice breaking capacity for its water ways.
So in essence, the harsh winter is still impacting the production of steel conduit.
People wonder how the price of copper and steel are determined because those levels have such an impact on many of the products sold in both the electrical and industrial industries. The price on metals is determined by the London Metal Exchange (LME).Continue reading “What is the London Metals Exchange?”