Copper’s China-Driven Tumble Seen Near Bottom, Tiger Says

Copper, which sunk to a near four-year low, is likely to have touched a bottom and will trade above $3 a pound in the next 2 to 3 years, said Tiger Resources Ltd., the fourth-biggest copper miner listed in Australia.

“There is an expectation in the immediate short term of softening and we are just about where we expected that softening to go to,” Brad Marwood, chief executive officer of the Perth-based company, said today in an interview.

Copper in London has slumped 12 percent this year, on forecasts of declining imports by China, the world’s biggest consumer of the industrial metal. Continued industrialization across Asia as well as strengthening economies in the U.S. and Europe will support prices, according to Marwood.

The metal should trade “in the $3 to $4 per pound range over the next 2 to 3 years,” Marwood said. “We see the copper price remaining robust.”

The contract for delivery in May on the Comex in New York was little changed at $2.947 a pound at 4:20 p.m. in Sydney. That’s the lowest since July 2010.

Tiger, which has projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, fell 4.9 percent to 39 cents in Sydney, trimming its advance this year to 13 percent.

Copper’s recent fall has been aided by output from the startup of Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.’s Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, which is “delivering vast quantities of concentrate into the Chinese market and as a result there is an oversupply in that sector,” he said.

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