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Copper CBS May 2020 - COVID-19 supply disruptions offset demand shortfalls

Copper prices rose 9.4% from US$4,785/t on April 1 to US$5,233/t on April 29, the highest level since mid-March. The price has since stumbled, however, dropping 2.7% to US$5,094.25/t May 5. The price increases and high levels of volatility are in line with our expectations. We have, therefore, maintained our average price forecast of US$5,700/t for 2020. We retained the price forecast despite decreasing our supply and demand forecasts by 75,000 tonnes and 185,000 tonnes, respectively, resulting in our refined surplus for the year increasing to 182,000 tonnes from 72,000 tonnes previously.

Access the Copper Commodity Briefing Service May 2020 Full report and databook(Only for client)

  • Copper prices have increased to average US$5,101 per tonne so far in May, from an average of US$5,058/t in April.
  • We have maintained our 2020 copper price forecast at US$5,700/t as prices have increased in line with our expectations.
  • As a result of the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we have decreased our global copper demand forecast by 185,000 tonnes to 23.3 million tonnes.
  • The Chinese Caixin and official manufacturing Purchasing Managers Indexes fell to 50.8 and 49.4 in April from 52.0 and 50.1, respectively, in March.
  • S&P Global Economics has revised its 2020 global GDP forecast from 0.4% growth previously to a 2.4% contraction.
  • We have decreased our global refined output forecast for 2020 by 75,000 tonnes, due to falling concentrate supply, lower treatment charges and curtailments as a result of COVID-19.
  • We have lowered our forecast mined copper production forecast for 2020 by 135,000 tonnes to 19.6 Mt.
  • We have also maintained our 2021 and 2022 copper price forecasts at US$6,233/t and US$6,425/t, respectively.

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