The average LME copper price during 2019 was $6,000/t, an 8% decrease compared with $6,526/t in the prior year.
The copper price ended 2018 on a downward trend which reversed in early 2019. A weaker US dollar and improved investor sentiment regarding the Chinese economy helped to support prices, resulting in the copper price reaching a high of $6,572/t in March 2019. The price remained above $6,300/t until May 2019, after which an intensification of the US-China trade dispute and deteriorating macroeconomic data placed downward pressure on the copper price.
Movements in the copper price thereafter were primarily driven by developments in trade negotiations and the consequent effect on the outlook for the Chinese economy.
The copper price was weak throughout the second half of the year, with the average price of $5,841/t lower than the first half of the year ($6,211/t). The copper price reached a low of $5,537/t in early September but from October was on an upward trend following continued unrest in Chile and a decline in LME stocks. The price then ended the year relatively strongly, rising to $6,185/t in December following reports of an initial US-China trade deal.