Hallgarten & Company analyst Christopher Ecclestone said in a note this week that China's "weaponisation" of copper by flooding the market with its stockpiled supply in retaliation for US trade tariffs was an unsustainable strategy.
He said the "ill-thought out" strategy would put an extended dampener on development and exploration by damaging or delaying the financing prospects of various developers, ultimately leading to higher prices which would hurt China.
The China-US trade war resulted in copper prices falling 20% from the US$3.20 per pound level reached in the first half of 2018 to back below $3/lb, although more upside was expected.
"The copper price has been clambering back towards the daylight. Damage has been done, though, with financing markets...