Copper prices have been on an upward trend since the early 20th century, with some slight dips along the way. However, over the last few decades, copper prices have been rising steadily and quickly. According to data from the London Metal Exchange (LME), copper prices are currently at their highest levels since the early 20th century. This article takes a look at the historical copper prices and provides an overview of what the prices have been like over the last century.
Early copper prices in the 1900s
At the beginning of the 20th century, copper was highly sought after for its industrial uses. Copper prices increased steadily throughout the 1900s, with the cost of copper reaching a peak in the 1930s. According to data from the US Geological Survey, the average copper price per pound in the US was around 4 cents in 1920. By 1940, this price had risen to 8.5 cents per pound.
Copper prices during the World War II era
During World War II, copper prices began to drop due to the reduced need for copper for industrial purposes. During the years 1944 and 1945, prices fell to an average of 4.2 cents per pound. By 1947, prices had increased slightly, but were still low compared to the levels prior to the war. The average copper price per pound in the US in 1947 was 6.1 cents.
Post-war copper prices
After World War II, copper prices started to rise again as the demand for copper for industrial purposes increased. By 1960, the price of copper had risen to 9.8 cents per pound. This pattern of steady growth continued throughout the 20th century, with prices reaching 16.1 cents per pound in 1980.
Recent copper prices
Prices for copper have continued to rise since the start of the 21st century. According to data from the LME, the average copper price per pound in 2020 was around $3.63. In the early part of 2021, copper prices have continued to climb, with prices now sitting at around $5.42 per pound as of May 2023.
Overall, it’s clear that copper prices have been on an upward trend since the early 20th century, with some minor dips along the way. With demand for copper increasing due to its industrial use, it’s likely that copper prices could remain at high levels over the coming years. However, this is always subject to change, due to a wide range of global market forces.