u/ goobint writes:
Both the supply and demand dynamics in the copper market are looking incredibly favorable.
From a 2022 Goldman Sachs report, “Copper is so integral to the green transition – a global effort underpinned by government support – that the supply requirements necessitate a spike in copper prices”
Demand will increase
- EVs, EV charging, electrical transmission, and renewables all use a lot of copper, and are set to grow for the foreseeable future.
- For example, an EV uses at least 2x more copper than a gas powered car.
- There also isn’t a clear replacement for copper in these products, meaning the price can continue to rise without destroying demand.
- Aluminum is the most likely potential replacement, but not nearly as efficient (it would require a much higher volume of aluminum to do the same job).
Supply will not keep up
- Supply is expected to fall well short of demand in the 2nd half of this decade.
- Ore grades are declining at many of the largest copper mines and there have been almost no major new discoveries in recent years.
- New copper mines can take 10 years to get up to full production, so they would not contribute to the supply equation until 2033.
TL;DR: the world is going to need a lot of copper, there is no viable substitute, and the supply wont be there.
Disclosure: I am long COPX, FCX, IVPAF and IE, though these do not constitute a large % of my portfolio yet.
What are your thoughts? Am I missing anything? The most likely threat to the thesis above as far as I can see would be a breakthrough in extraction technology that dramatically increases supply.
GS Report “Copper is the New Oil”
Copper Stocks List
IEA Critical Minerals Market Review
Escondida Ore Grade Decline