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Gold, Copper and Iron Ore Outlook for 2021

By Charles Kubach, Mine-Engineer.Com
June 1, 2021

As iron ore and copper are typically indicators of economic activity and their prices reflect demand and therefore economic activity, while gold is seen as a good investment, generally, and as a safe haven for money in bad economic times, we have some strange conditions currently, as all three are peaking, more or less. Gold is $1,890 per ounce, copper is around $4.54/Lb. and iron ore is between $200 to $230 per ton, depending upon grade, delivered to a China Port. These are historic high prices, in complex times. Normally, when copper and iron ore are peaking gold is trending down, but it is expected to keep increasing in price this year, as inflation, a lower US dollar, and low interest rates are expected to continue for a while.

I call this weirdness the Covid Effect, as economies were hammered by the virus spreading worldwide, creating economic havoc under shut downs and business closings. Gold should have taken off into the stratosphere, as it is the doomsday investment of choice, which is to say when all other investment vehicles are in disarray, gold shines. It did go up a bit, but not that much, from a high of $1,672 in January 2021, to the current (30 May 2021) price of $1,890/ounce. That was barely a 13% increase in price, in very trying times.

As for the near future for the economic recovery, this will determine iron ore and copper prices, and it should be ok, if there is not a significant surge in virus cases, and the consumer demand improves. However inflation is the lurking demon that could keep demand down for both gold and consumer products, affecting gold, copper and iron ore.

The prognosticators seem to think (hope) that the inflation effect will be modest, but with all the free money ( artificially low interest rates) and the trillions of dollars used to stimulate consumer spending, sooner or later reality will prevail, and it will affect the economy. As the old banker used to say, "sooner or later you have to pay the piper."

Let's hope the negative effects are marginal and we once again rise to the top of the economic heap, where the Greatest Nation on Earth (USA) belongs, and the global economy does well, in our wake.

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