Copper Price

Copper price graph
Table of Contents

Current copper price in tables and graphs

The copper price can be presented in many different ways. This is because there are many different copper prices. We know red copper, hand peeled copper or even copper alloys. The prices that we portray are the actual trading prices of copper. This is the red line that is used in stock exchanges like  New York. Do you want to know more about the copper prices, then read this article.


About the price determination of copper and more in this article

The copper price is determined by supply and demand. The past 20 years you can see that the demand f or copper has increased a lot. The scarcity and the sustainability of the product does push the price up a lot.

After a dip in 2015 on the LME (London Metal Exchange) the demand and the scarcity in the copper market has increased a lot. The price per kilogram of copper has increased a lot, as you can see in the graph above. With the actual price going up per pound  (0.454 kilogram).

LME-trading market

We know multiple kinds of copper; hand peeled copper, red copper (for metal pipes), tinted red copper, cut or   better known as mixed red copper and the copper that is worth the least on the trading grounds, yellow copper.

The price that we have on the graph is based on the most expensive copper sort, hand peeled copper. Hand peeled copper is easy to melt and is very suited for reusing. This is therefore also the largest supply and demand on the LME trade market.

What types are there

The prices for copper are determined in different types which we will tell you here. We start with the copper that has the highest value and work our way down.

  • Hand peeled copper
  • Red copper
  • Tinted red copper
  • Cut copper (red)
  • Yellow copper

Facts about copper

After the digging sites in the North, now known as Iraq, the conclusion is that copper was used a long time ago, around 8700 B.C. Later there were dig sites in that same region that showed that copper also was already being melted from minerals like malachite and azurite.

A little later, around 3000 B.C. the Egyptians and the Chinese showed that it could also be used to create bronze.

The Latin translation of copper is cuprum and is derived from cyprium. The quartz of Cyprus and it shows that in the ancient times, copper was yielded a lot in Cyprus.

The shine of copper is associated with the goddess Aphrodite. In this time copper was usually used for mirrors and later for tools.

In our daily life we see a lot of copper products as well. Just look at the coins of your money, interior design and also pots and pans made out of copper are trendy again.

Nowadays we usually talk more about the color than the actual trade or prices of copper. In the next chapter we will be talking more about the price of copper. The prices from 2000 to 2020 you can see in the table with the differences per year, so you get a good overview.

Copper price in a table

In the table below, you can find the copper price of 2000 until now. You can easily see what the value of copper has been doing these past couple of decades. Is this metal a good investment? Who knows for the next 20  years.

As you see though, the demand for copper has risen a lot in these last years. This has everything to do with the fact that we, as a consumer, embrace copper more and more. The color, the style and especially the shiny effect.

Because we use copper more and more, the price of  copper will only increase the upcoming years. Think about batteries,  robots, but even your jeans have copper buttons. So here’s a fun copper quote by David Maisel:

“I live in the 20th century. I have copper rivets on my jeans.”

How to determine the copper price?

The price of copper is mostly influenced by the health of the world economy. This is because there are many applications in all sectors of the economy, such as energy solutions and transmissions, construction, factory equipment and electronics. The base metal is seen as a reliable indicator. A rising market price tells us there is a healthy economy going, while a dip would  suggest te opposite.

Copper is very important nowadays, the metal is the best conductor of electricity in non-precious metals. It is used in electricity cables, generators, engines and transformers. Copper is also used a lot when producing electronics and electronical  components. In houses and buildings copper has a decorative as well as a practical applications in pipes and wiring. Other applications are industrial machines, vehicles and coins.

Production countries

Country Production (2019) Share
Chili 5.6 Million tonnes 28%
Peru 2.4 Million tonnes 12%
China 1.6 Million tonnes 8%
America 1.3 Million tonnes 6.5%
Congo 1.3 Million tonnes 6.5%
Australia 960.000 tonnes 4.8%
Mexico 770.000 tonnes 3.85%
Rest of the world 6.07 Million tonnes 30.35%
Total 20 Million tonnes 100%

Copper moves around the whole world in different ways like quartz, raw copper, refined copper and copper wiring. Chili and Peru are the  biggest exporters in quartz, while China and Japan are the biggest buyers. Zambia is the biggest exporter of raw copper, while  Switzerland is the biggest buyer. Germany exports mostly coper wiring.

Conclusion copper price

In the past decades, if not centuries, copper has developed the most advanced products for the consumer and is one of the metals that is unthinkable to ever leave our existance. From mineral quartz to finished products, copper has it all.

What happened to the price of copper in 2021?

In the second half of 2021 we saw a slight rise of the price of copper. During the months of September and October of this year, the price has started to rise a lot. We can also see that this year th ere was more demand than supply, which drives up the price. Worldwide more and more copper is used, but also the production of it has been increased, so it not as simple as you might think. Because there is a feeling of scarcity, sellers can also get more money’s worth. Next to that, consumers and  companies that recycle copper and other metals, also account for a higher price at the end of 2021.

This we can expect in 2022

The demand for copper keeps growing, but the supply is not increasing as much, which makes the price skyrocket. Raw materials and energy prices are inceasing worldwide, because of the war between Ukraine and  Russia. This will also have an indirect impact on the stock of copper, steel and other metals. These are usually being melted and that requires a lot of electricity or gas. The production cannot be scaled up a lot more, so we will notice the prices rise with tens of percentages. For buyers a bad time, but for sellers perhaps a dream come true.

Yahoo Finance

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