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Jefferies still bullish on copper despite demand concerns

US investment bank Jefferies has reiterated concerns about copper demand amid tight supply.

Staff reporter
 First Quantum Minerals is among the miners best positioned for a higher copper price, according to Jefferies

First Quantum Minerals is among the miners best positioned for a higher copper price, according to Jefferies

Updating comments from last week, now armed with more production numbers from companies which had since reported, Jefferies said copper supply was only slowly increasing and all recent changes to production guidance had been downward revisions, citing Antofagasta, Anglo American, Freeport-McMoRan, MMG, Rio Tinto, Vale and Southern Copper.

Analyst Christopher LaFemina said yesterday the majors who had reported to date accounted for 57% of global copper supply and their September quarter production volumes had only increased 0.9% year-on-year.

"We do not expect a significant y/y increase in 4Q," he said.

"Copper supply is tight." 

Jefferies' near-term concern was demand, pointing to China's energy crisis and weaker property market.

However its analysts were upbeat over a longer timeframe.

"We are bullish copper over the medium term due to growing global demand and underappreciated supply constraints," LaFemina said.

"Freeport, First Quantum, Antofagasta and Glencore are best positioned for a higher copper price.

"While these shares may be volatile in the near term, we expect them to perform well over the next 6+ months."

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