Response by Justin Roux, Senior Vice-President, Luvata
I’m going to start this commentary by asking for your forgiveness. I’m sorry for being grumpy, but returning from holiday and facing a broad swathe of differing opinions about the copper price is about as welcome as coming home to find I forgot to cancel the milk, there are 1,000 bottles of going rotten on the doorstep and the neighbours are STILL complaining about the overgrown hedge. Groan.
Am I the only one who feels this way?
Does anyone remember the TV series ‘Twin Peaks’, which gripped our attention so strongly in the first three episodes but became so filled with twists and turns and unbelievable revelations that we lost interest and switched off? How many copper-price dramas can you remember since 2006? Are we feeling drama fatigue?
If a car breaks down on a highway, the whole highway slows down; you must know that phenomenon – everyone slows down to have a look. Humans love drama; we flock around it. Drama creates interest, interest creates hype, hype creates opportunity and opportunity creates price… until the next drama comes along.
Everyone (myself included) took up arms for or against the idea of copper ETFs, with some calling them the recession-saviour and others saying they’d have the same effect on the industry as Godzilla had on Tokyo. Looking at today’s headlines, they look much like a wheezing middleweight losing his legs in the third round. Three metaphors in a row – what an inspiration this metal is.
We’re all so hungry for the next big thing that we can talk molehills into mountains and forget about them a day later. An erring politician MUST be fired, a month’s bad figures and someone MUST go at the top, a week’s hot weather and this IS the end of the world. We’ve simply lost the ability to take things in our stride, to wait patiently for things to happen, and to live without drama. In short, we’ve lost our ability to judge.
Where was I? Oh yes, the price of copper.
This company became Luvata in 2006 when copper was around $3,000 a tonne. Back then, if the price fluctuated by $20 in a day it made the headlines. Today, we can read about a $300 change and carry on sipping our coffee.
This poll shows a huge range of opinions and I wonder how many are predictions and how many are wishes; one person felt so passionately that they decided to place their vote every 5 seconds for 21 votes (it only counts as one in the final count). But I’m not going to interpret any further; I’ll leave that to you. This poll has not come up with an answer but it has recorded the shape of the noise.
I was very tempted to illustrate the results using a roulette wheel because that’s how I feel about the copper price, but this graph is a nice shape – it’s very elegant and I’m sure the mathematicians will have lots of fun with it. As for the price itself, I’m tempted to flip a coin – a copper coin. It will be worth a penny on the way up but, given a little hype, might be a pound by the time it comes down.