China controls copper markets with change in scrap regulations

Roskill’s associate Copper analyst Jonathan Barnes talks Proactive London through the US/China ‘tit-for-tat’ trade tariffs and the chances of a partial resolution, which fundamentals in the copper market indicate could be on the cards.

New regulations in China (in terms of the quality of imported metals the Chinese government will now accept) is now leaving a glut of unused scrap in US metal yards and changing forces at work within the copper markets. As China consumes half of the world’s copper supply, with the energy grid and A/C units representing major end markets, the Chinese influence can’t be underestimated, especially as they are copper’s most speculative buyers, stockpiling when prices are low.