Copper prices retreated again on Monday to $3.09 a pound or $6,830 a tonne, bringing losses for the bellwether metal over the past week to nearly 6%. Two weeks ago copper touched the highest levels since January 2014.

Worries about the impact of a trade war between the US and China, which is responsible for nearly half the world's industrial metal demand, are behind the pullback, but longer term the outlook for copper remains rosy.

While all the talk has been around booming demand for electric vehicles, a recent widely-read report by BMO Capital Markets argues that renewable energy infrastructure is the biggest single driver of global demand growth over the coming years.

The Canadian investment bank says the global push towards green energy  necessitates "significant numbers" of small-scale electricity generation units to be connected to the grid.

Solar will add 2.5 million tonnes per year to global copper demand by 2025 and wind 1.85 million tonnes says BMO adding that offshore wind installations are particularly copper intensive, averaging over 9 tonnes of copper per megawatt.

Battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids require on average 3.6 times the amount of copper than an internal combustion engine (ICE).

Copper usage increases quickly as battery size expands – the copper in a full-electric SUV tops 100kg and in an e-bus it reaches 300kg.

BMO points out that despite the rapid transition to EVs, the traditional vehicle market is also still growing at a fast clip.

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Resource Commodities

Name Last Change
Gold 1344.46 0.38%
Silver 16.07 0.62%
Copper 2.88 0.080
Platinum 822.50 0.00%
Oil 56.09 0.89%
Natural Gas 2.66 1.39%
Uranium 28.70 0.00%
Zinc 1.21 0.00%