Red Metal Blues

And now it's copper. The red metal has joined natural gas and iron ore in free-fall as fast-growing supply overwhelms modestly growing demand. Copper had been projected to move into a global surplus in 2013 as demand rose by 5.3%, but supply rose by 6.8% to 8%. That was projected to take copper to a surplus of supply over demand of 330,000 metric tons in 2013 from a deficit of 95,000 tons in 2012 and 132,000 tons in 2011. The average price for 2013, according to Goldman Sachs, would be $8,458 a ton before falling to $7,250 a ton in 2014.

But now it looks worse than that. Commodity consultants Wood Mackenzie project that copper production in 2013 will show the biggest increase since 2004. Copper production in Chile, where mines struggled last year with stoppages and delays, will rise in 2013 with the expansion of the Escondida mine, the world's largest. Copper fell to an eight-month low last week of $7,331 a metric ton....365 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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