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Live Copper Price & Historical Copper Prices Compared

Last Updated:

Today’s copper market price is $ per pound.

See the chart below for historical prices.

Tip: Use the “Advanced” button above to access technical charting features for copper spot prices over time.

Read on to find out about how copper prices compare to precious metal prices like gold and silver. We also explain the main price drivers of copper, how you can get copper via bullion dealers, and how you can keep up with copper price news.

What Drives Copper Prices?

Copper has many uses in a diverse array of industries.

Its price is considered one of the key barometers for the overall strength of the global economy. The following four areas represent some of the biggest determinants of copper prices:

  1. Emerging Markets
  2. US Housing Market
  3. Supply Disruptions
  4. Substitution

Emerging Markets Demanding Copper

Because infrastructure represents such an important part of the demand, emerging markets are a key driver of copper prices. Fast-growing countries like India and China are accumulating vast amounts of wealth as their economies grow.

As a result, they have a growing need for infrastructures to support the likes of housing and transportation.

Asia comprises an increasing share of global copper demand. The price of copper may depend greatly on the ability of these countries, as well as other emerging economies like Brazil.

A halt of growth in emerging economies would almost certainly have a negative effect on copper prices.

Copper Demand By The US Housing Market

The US homebuilding industry uses copper in electrical wiring, roofing, plumbing fixtures, and insulation among other things.

Factors that affect US housing demand, including nonfarm payrolls, mortgage rates, US gross domestic product (GDP), and demographics, also play an important role in determining copper demand.

The building construction industry is responsible for close to half of the US copper supply. Speculators should pay close attention to trends in this market for clues about future copper prices.

Copper Supply Disruptions

Political, environmental, and labor issues can have a big impact on copper prices. South America supplies a significant amount of copper, particularly Chile and Peru.

Historically, countries in this region have occasionally chosen governments that nationalized the mining industry. Such events can disrupt supplies and lead to higher prices.

Events like miner strikes can also produce supply disruptions and higher prices.

Finally, natural disasters like earthquakes and landslides can slow down mining output. Copper traders should pay attention to geopolitical news that affects the mining industry.

Substitution: Alternative Metals To Copper

The economic principle of substitution represents a risk of investing in any commodity, and copper is no exception. As prices climb, buyers will seek cheaper substitutions, if available.

Cheaper metals such as aluminum are now a substitute for copper in power cables, electrical equipment, and refrigeration equipment.

Nickel, lead, and iron also competes with copper as substitutes in some industries.

How is Copper Weighed?

The most common weight units to measure copper are pounds (lb), standard ounces (oz), troy ounces (t oz), and grams (g). For copper commodity market prices for trading — you’ll find copper listed in pounds (lb).

One standard ounce of copper is equal to almost exactly 28 grams. One troy ounce is rounded to 31.1 grams — this unit is typically used on exchanges and by bullion dealers.

Here’s a summary of these weight units, and others you may encounter on the copper market:

  • Pounds (lb): Copper is often weighed in pounds. There are 453.592 grams in one pound.
  • Kilogram (kg): One kilogram is equal to 1,000 grams. This unit is common in large volume retail and commercial markets.
  • Tonne (t): ‘Tonnes’ of copper are more frequently heard of when referred to very large volumes of the metal. One tonne of copper is equal to 1,000 kg.
  • Tael (in traditional Chinese: 兩): A Chinese unit of measurement, now standardized to 50g. Some consumers may find 37.5g taels, a type of bullion. However, copper taels are far rarer than precious metal taels.

Copper Bullion Dealers

You can find copper bullion products with the following bullion dealers. Some of them allow you to both buy and sell:

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Copper bullion is harder to find than the likes of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium since it’s not classified as a ‘precious metal’.

How to Set Google Price Alerts for Copper Price News

Keep up with copper price news by setting up Google Alerts. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. Type “copper prices” in the search box.
  3. Choose how often you’d like to receive alert emails: as it happens; once a day; once a week.
  4. Choose the sources you want Google to search (eg, Blogs, Finance, News).
  5. Choose the language of the content you want to search through.
  6. Choose the country of the content’s origin.
  7. Choose how many results to have delivered: all results; only the best results, based on Google’s algorithms.
  8. Enter the email address where you want to receive your alerts.
copper price google alerts
Options for setting up your Google Alerts for copper prices.

Learn More About Copper

Want to learn more about copper? These resources can help:

You can also learn about the national economies of countries like China and India, both of which are key players in the copper market.

More, see these precious metal price guides to compare the performance of copper prices against other metals:

FAQs

What is the price of copper today?

Copper is currently priced at $ per lb. You can see historical information on copper prices and the metal’s year-to-date performance at the top of the page.

Why are copper prices different on exchanges?

Different exchanges and brokers list different live copper prices because of several reasons. In the case of exchanges, the market maker and data provider may be different. For example, the Copper Futures price on Comex is different from what you see on the London Metal Exchange (LME). Currency conversions also impact the copper price quotes shown.

In the case of brokers and copper derivatives, the spread charged on the copper instrument may also contribute to the price difference.

What affects the price of copper?

Copper prices are determined by the demand for copper, primarily commercial. Such demand is driven by the construction and technology industries. Then, the rate of supply through copper mining and production determines what price the commercial consumers pay. Future projections of copper supply and demand are available via various resources.

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