Ouch, just after wires prices in Austria finally went down after being at a record high for like 6 years... (100m of 1.5mm2 conduit singles were boosted from Euro 3.50 to 12.90 within one month around 2004 and finally went down to 10.90 again this summer).
What else is new? The price of copper never goes down for any length of time. (IMHO) I would watch it drop 3% then the following month go up 10%. There was always a reason. Miner strike in South America, or trucker strike, or maybe because it was raining and they didn't want to get wet.
Not sure, but I have been hearing that oil prices are supposed going to go up sharply in the next few months, so maybe they are anticipating this. I remember when oil prices spiked a couple of years ago, the price of wire shot way up, supposedly due in part to petroleum being a major component of the insulation.
Copper is subject to the same price pressure as gold and silver.
China is trying to get rid of her dollars and so is the marginal buyer right on up the scale.
She is also pressuring iron ore which has moved sky high over a ten year period. Just so you'd know: China is now able to smelt 600,000,000 tons of steel a year. That figure is greater than America+Europe+Japan+Korea !
So naturally China is expanding production to 660,000,000 tpy.
Similar increases in conductor production are underway.
China is now slowing or stopping exports of gold, silver and rare earths.
Rare earths are the magic inside high tech light fixtures. So you can take it to the bank that price increases are coming soon to a fixture installed by you.
( RE have jumped from $4 to $40 per pound in 60 days. )
If China adjusts its currency upwards amazing things will happen for our trade.