Copper prices have recently hit 3-month lows on the London Metal Exchange, partly because of renewed fears of economic problems around the world, most notably in China and Europe. Chinese copper imports have fallen in recent months as well, only after jumping substantially for the few months beforehand, as reported by the Business Insider.
Over the next few months, copper prices worldwide will likely be tied to the economic recovery, with any new signs of recessions and lack of industrial demand acting to push prices down further.
Still, the long-term outlook is good according to managed money speculators who are putting their money where their forecasts are, and this year is likely a good time to look for deals in copper markets, including copper mining stocks.
One of the largest driving forces in the likely copper bull market of the next 5-10 years will be Chinese economic growth, at least according to most copper bulls.
Famed commodities and China bull Jim Rogers has made a name for himself constantly pitching the case for commodities and China. Speaking of copper, he explained to interviewers about six months ago that:
I own some copper, but I expect to make more, percentage-wise, in agriculture and precious metals.
Note that this was his long-term position, not necessarily his position going forward into this year specifically.
We're just now in the midst of the commodities bull market, and if the next 5 years show a recovering global economy and a continued Chinese boom, commodities -- and copper prices today -- will be on the receiving end of that boom.
As I've written in the past, I believe that we're likely to see the end of the age of the dollar over the next 10+ years, which means hard assets like gold, copper, and even investing in houses are almost always something to look into for investors.