Bank of America says the copper supply crisis is here

By Steve Goldstein

Analysts say gold can reach $3,000 an ounce

Copper was thought to be headed toward a supply crisis as the world adopts electric vehicles and other greenification measures.

And now that crisis is here, say Bank of America metals strategists led by Michael Widmer.

“The much-discussed lack of mine projects is becoming an increasing issue for copper. This, along with investment in green technologies and a rebound of the global economy, should lift prices to US$10,250/t (465c/lb) by the fourth quarter,” they say, an upgrade of 8% from their previous view.

Front-month copper futures (HG00) were trading at $4.28 per pound, up 10% on the year on Tuesday.

Bank of America wasn’t the only Wall Street bank forecasting copper price gains. Analysts at Citi said consumers of the metal should “urgently hedge” or risk facing $320 billion of cost increases over the next three years. Saying copper is the second bull market this century, they say copper prices are trending higher to average $10,000 per ton in the fourth quarter and $12,000 by 2026.

The Bank of America analysts also are bullish on gold.

“Gold remains one of our favorite metals and we expect prices to average US$2,500/oz by the fourth quarter, potentially hitting US$3,000/oz by 2025. Notably, demand from central banks and China’s retail buyers has been strong. If Western investors join the party on rate cuts, the yellow metal will move a leg higher; this may also be necessary, if sentiment in China improves, and less investment flows into gold,” they say.

Gold (GC00) hit yet another record on Tuesday, trading at $2,372.80 an ounce, up 15% on the year.

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