This reddish metal was one of the first metals to be extracted and used by man. The use of copper, along with that of gold, marked the transition from the Stone Age to modern civilization. Copper continues to be widely used even today, after iron and aluminum, is in fact the third place among the most widely used metals in the world. Excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, as well as a good corrosion resistance characterize it.
Copper is found in rocks, soil, water and air. It can be found in its natural state on Earth’s surface, but is usually extracted from ores.
Although copper is spread all over the world, the regions that produce the most are the Americas (Chile, USA, Peru, Canada), Australia and Asia (Indonesia, China).
Copper is used in the production of gutters, pipes for plumbing, heating and ventilation, and in that of cables and metal plates for the construction industry. For its malleability, in the past the copper was also used for the realization of monuments.
By virtue of its excellent conductivity, copper is the metal most used in the production of cables, wires and electrical products.
In its pure form, copper is too soft and malleable for some uses. Copper alloys with other metals may be more resistant than copper alone: it binds to the pond to produce bronze and zinc to produce brass.
For its resistance to corrosion, copper is often used for the minting of coins.
THE MARKET OF COPPER
The trading of copper is concentrated mainly on the London Metal Exchange (LME London Metal Exchange). Official prices are established during the second “ring” of copper (trading session ” open outcry “) of the day, from 12.30 to 12.35. Outside of these hours, the copper contracts can be traded electronically via LME Select, an electronic trading platform, or by telephone between offices around the world.
According to some economists, the Copper is considered a good indicator of growth: in fact, the rise in copper prices has often preceded periods of economic expansion.
The factors that affect the price of copper are:
- Growth – Chinese
- Limits the offer
- Any other use
- Political risk