Thursday, March 13, 2014

The implication of copper's decline

Question: Why should we be concerned about the recent copper price decline when copper went down for years in the late 1990s?

Answer: Most of copper's losses in the '90s were in the economically soft early part of the decade and again during '97-'98.  You’ll recall that the Asian currency crisis beginning in ‘97 was part of the problem since overseas copper demand was impacted by this.  By 1998, the Asian (and Russian) chickens came home to roost in the U.S. and we had that nasty mini-deflationary commodities collapse (or near collapse) in the summer of ‘98 along with the shortest equities bear market on record (22% in two months if memory serves).  

It may take a few more months, but I suspect we'll eventually see China/Russia's troubled waters rippling our way – just as they did in ‘98.