Commodity Prices Soar – Miners Aren’t Investing

Author: Alistair MacDonald
Source: Wall Street Journal

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Limited spending on new projects raises concerns about future supply shortages, particularly for metals used for lower-carbon products

Despite a commodity boom that is boosting profits, miners aren’t throwing cash at new projects, raising concerns about future shortages of some metals.

So-called technology metals, such as cobalt, copper and lithium, are set for particularly large deficits, analysts say, amid rising demand from makers of batteries, electric cars and wind turbines. Supply constraints threaten to slow countries’ plans to reduce emissions and make them more expensive, they say.

Though off their highs, many mined commodities have hit record prices this year as the global economy bounces back from Covid-19, governments increase spending on infrastructure and supply stutters for some resources. For instance, the price of copper—used in construction and to conduct electricity—has almost doubled over the past 12 months to a record of $10,762 a metric ton earlier this month.

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