Why Investors Turn to Copper as an Inflation Hedge
Every year, a vast amount of copper is used by the global economy to manufacture a wide variety of goods.
It’s a major ingredient in big-ticket consumer goods like autos, appliances, electronics, and new homes. Simultaneously, copper is also gobbled up for many industrial uses including telecommunications, utilities, construction, and industrial machinery.
An Economic Bellwether
Today’s infographic comes to us from Kutcho Copper, and it shows the red metal’s important role in the economy, as well as why it has become a famous economic bellwether.
When the economy is doing well and new things are being made, demand soars for the red metal.
When demand goes up, it drives the price of copper higher.
All Eyes on Copper
Because of this historic relationship, analysts around the world watch the price of copper closely.
Copper’s long history of predicting economic movements has famously earned it a nickname as the metal “with a Ph.D. in economics”
In other words: when construction and manufacturing are growing, so do sales of copper products. But this link as an economic gauge has other important implications, especially to investors looking to build a robust portfolio.
Rising Prices, Rising Copper
While copper’s link to economic trends is interesting, it’s power to shield a portfolio from inflation is even more compelling.
Rising prices come from an overheating economy with strong consumer spending – the same factor that is an influence on copper prices. As a result of this connection, tor every 1% annual increase in consumer prices since 1992, copper’s price jumped almost 18%.
In an analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence, copper outperformed every major asset class aside from energy as an inflation hedge – and during periods of rising consumer prices, copper had triple the 5.2% gain logged by gold.
A Threat to Portfolios
Inflation can absolutely kill an unprotected portfolio.
Why? If inflation is higher than the portfolio’s rate of return, then that portfolio is actually producing a negative real return. (Example: 2% growth – 3% inflation = -1% return)
In other words, inflation can be a “stealth” threat that chips away at returns, especially for fixed income portfolios. The good news: holding copper or other commodities can protect against rising prices.
Copper: The Inflation Hedge
At the end of the day, other industrial metals are very specialized in their use, and precious metals tend to be driven by investor sentiment.
Copper, on the other hand, is used in a vast array of industrial and technological uses, which makes it a proxy for the economy as a whole.
Copper is more sensitive to inflation and the dollar because of its uses and its growth with the economy.
– Jodie Gunzberg, S&P Dow Jones Indices
Visualizing the New Era of Gold Mining
This infographic highlights the need for new gold mining projects and shows the next generation of America’s gold deposits.
Visualizing the New Era of Gold Mining
Between 2011 and 2020, the number of major gold discoveries fell by 70% relative to 2001-2010.
The lack of discoveries, alongside stagnating gold production, has cast a shadow of doubt on the future of gold supply.
This infographic sponsored by NOVAGOLD highlights the need for new gold mining projects with a focus on the company’s Donlin Gold project in Alaska.
The Current State of Gold Production
Between 2010 and 2019, gold production increased steadily, though this growth has stagnated over the past few years.
|Year||Gold Production, tonnes||YoY % Change|
Along with a small decrease in gold production in 2020, there were no new major gold discoveries in 2021.
The fall in production and long-term lack of gold discoveries point towards a possible imbalance in gold supply and demand. This calls for the introduction of new gold development projects that can fill the supply-demand gap in the future.
Sustaining Supply: Gold for the Future
Jurisdictions play an important role when looking for projects that could sustain gold production well into the future.
From political stability to trustworthy legal systems, the characteristics of a jurisdiction can make or break mining projects. Amid ongoing market uncertainty, political turmoil, and resource nationalism, projects in safe jurisdictions offer a better investment opportunity for investors and mining companies.
Today, 10 of the top 15 mining jurisdictions for investment are located in North America, according to the Fraser Institute report published in 2023.
A Golden Opportunity
Located in Alaska, one of the world’s safest mining jurisdictions, NOVAGOLD’s 50% owned Donlin Gold project has the highest average grade of gold among major development projects in the Americas. For every tonne of ore, Donlin Gold offers 2.24 grams of gold, which is more than twice the global average grade of 1.04g/t.
Additionally, Donlin Gold is the second-largest gold-focused development project in the Americas, with over 39 million ounces of gold in M&I resources inclusive of reserves.
NOVAGOLD is focused on the Donlin Gold project in equal partnership with Barrick Gold.
Learn more about Donlin Gold .
You may also like
Precious Metals2 months ago
200 Years of Global Gold Production, by Country
Global gold production has grown exponentially since the 1800s, with 86% of all above-ground gold mined in the last 200 years.
United States4 months ago
Charted: America’s Import Reliance of Key Minerals
The U.S. is heavily reliant on imports for many critical minerals. How import-dependent is the U.S. for each one, and on which country?
Mining4 months ago
Ranked: The World’s Top Cobalt Producing Countries
Cobalt, an essential component for certain types of EV batteries, has seen a significant shift in its global production landscape.
Mining6 months ago
Ranked: The World’s Biggest Steel Producers, by Country
China has dominated global steel production the past few decades, but how did the country get here, and is its production growth over?
Maps6 days ago
Mapped: Which Countries Recognize Israel or Palestine, or Both?
Markets1 week ago
Visualizing 30 Years of Investor Sentiment
Technology1 week ago
Ranked: Largest Semiconductor Foundry Companies by Revenue
Misc1 week ago
Visualized: EV Market Share in the U.S.
Maps1 week ago
Interactive Map: The World as 1,000 People
Retail1 week ago
Ranked: Average Black Friday Discounts for Major Retailers
Brands7 days ago
Ranked: Fast Food Brands with the Most U.S. Locations
Markets7 days ago
Visualizing 30 Years of Imports from U.S. Trading Partners