Loyal subscribers know I often opine that world markets are in the midst of a secular bull market for commodities, or “stuff”, as my recently passed friend Clyde Harrison was so fond of saying. Despite his traitorous penchant for Coors Light (instead of the classic St. Louis-brewed lagers), Clyde was one of those fellow Missourians who always had to be shown, and we all miss his wry wit, sense of humor, and insight into the speculative commodities markets.
You may also be aware of my many writings and interviews on the supply-demand fundamentals of copper, the metal with a “Ph.D. in Economics”. Copper is the one commodity that most directly reflects the near- and mid-term health of the world’s economy.
The modern copper industry started in the early 1900s with advent of large, mechanized open pit mines that could mine lower grades thru economies of scale. Development of these mines was coincident with the demand for and delivery of electricity to the industrialized world. Copper cable and wire is necessary for efficient transmission of electrical power and remains the main use of the metal.