Copper continues to have the best fundamentals of the mined commodities. Since reaching record highs in June, global inventories have declined 14 percent and prices have rebounded 10 percent. Additionally, inventories at bonded warehouses have declined 50 percent since the first quarter. These developments are supporting continued investment in mine capacity expansion.Our customers’ declining cash flows have resulted in significantly reduced capital expenditure budgets, as much as 40 to 50 percent on an aggregate basis. Customer capital expenditures are expected to remain at this level until demand improves enough to move commodity pricing above marginal cost and toward incentive levels. While there are a number of high grade projects in process, some later stage projects have been slowed so that they do not get ahead of the market.
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