If you look through some of the literature on copper, you might be surprised to learn that copper is often referred to as the metal with a PHD in economics. A bellweather for the base metals, it is highly sensitive to economic trends and therefore closely tied to the business cycle.
As a vital raw material in construction, electronics and power transmission, the theory is that the price of copper is the canary in the coal mine – a harbinger of what is going to come next. Rising copper prices signal a growing economy and falling copper prices signal an impending slowdown.
Will copper continue to earn this type of respect going forward? Most likely but its accuracy in predicting the state of the economy continues to be tempered by the volume and speed of commodity and currency trading on the electronic markets. Increasingly, these trades are affecting the fundamental supply and demand relationships which have historically driven metal prices.
Since we buy copper in various forms such as pipe, insulated wire and sheet we need to closely monitor copper prices and this puts us in a good position to follow coppers’ “commentary” on the variety of economic risks that are out there in the world today.
Over the past year, we have added a chopping line which separates copper from the plastic and aluminum found in insulated and armoured grades of wire. The equipment mechanically chops and granulates large volumes of wire and through a combination of air and gravity, the copper is separated from other material.
The final product in this value added process is what is commonly referred to as a chop. Since it will command a premium, the chopping line enables us to remain competitive in our pricing regardless of where the market is headed