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Copper price steady as stocks fall

Copper price is holding steady at £5.15 / kg as bonded warehouse stocks fall to 145 kT.

The falling copper stocks are the result of supply chain issues rather than being driven by demand and the question is how long will it take for the copper producers to take advantage of the highest price in two years to ramp up their production in the current pandemic and climate environment ?

Also, how long will buyers be able to put off buying more copper at this price ?

Traders are unlikely to want to push the price above the last nine year peak and risk being caught out holding expensive stocks once supply recovers form the current disruption.

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Copper price surges on supply fears

The price of copper surges to £5.19 / kg as LME stocks fall to 176 kT on supply side fears.

Workers at Antofagasta’s Zaldivar mine in northern Chile are set to down tools this week having dismissed the latest pay offer.

Codelco, the world’s top copper miner, recently decided to scale back its operations in an attempt to contain outbreaks of coronavirus in its workforce

Severe flooding in Jiangxi, southeast China, which is home to one of the country’s biggest copper mines could cause supply problems within China.

China, the world’s largest consumer of raw materials, will report a return to growth on Thursday showing that demand is recovering.

Until supply side issues are resolved I expect the price of copper to stay above £5/kg.

Graph of copper price
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Hawthorne Park Slot Car Club BRM Saloon (Historic Touring Cars)

Round 4 – 14th February 2020 – report

BRM round 4 grid
BRM round 4 grid

Using all the racers skills – especially chocolate and flowers – most members of Hawthorne Park Slot Car Club were able to attend round 4 of the Copper Braid Products sponsored 1/24th scale BRM Touring Car event held on the evening of 14th Feb 2020. Sadly a few doe eyed romantics preferred to spend time with loved ones….so the number of entrants was lower than usual at round 4 of this event.

Notable races during the night began in heat 2 – where Mike Guy and Ted Martin – both driving Escorts – engaged in a terrific race long battle for the lead – door handle to door handle – both lapping at record pace around the track. Eventually Ted was able to take the win, with both drivers earning a well-deserved round of applause from the spectators who enjoy watching such skilful and exciting slot car dices.

Mike Guy race cars
Mike Guy BRM touring cars

Mike Guy and his stable of 1/24th scale BRM Touring Cars

White Escort, Blue Kadett and  Yellow Mini

As well as being one of the top racers at Hawthorne Park slot car club Mike has also been a key person in helping to develop and use the electronic lap timing and scoring system that underpins all of the races and results we are now able to produce – thanks to his skill and knowledge around computer systems.

Heat 3 saw Pete Wright running his Mini which was proving exceptionally fast on the straights – blasting past his competitors – only to struggle through the corners…setting up any race car – real or model – is always about finding the best ‘set up’ – and clearly Pete had the straights sorted but needed more work on quick times through the twiddly bits of the track…..

Pete Wright race Mini
Pete Wright race Mini

The connection between the model car on the track and the driver is via the ‘controller’ – an electronic device that enables the speed of the car to be varied – it also has an electronic brake to slow the model car down on demand. A modern slot car controller as used at Hawthorne Park slot car club is a sophisticated and expensive piece of kit – often with different and complex electronic aids which can be used to develop ‘feel’ and ‘harmony’ with the model car as it races around the track.

Unfortunately Mike Broadbent was having controller trouble during heat 4 – no brakes ! – but still enjoyed a good race with his Renault Gordini as evidenced by his smile in this pic.

Mike Broadbent Renault Gordini
Mike Broadbent Renault Gordini

Mike is well known around the Liverpool area for his skill and expertise in model engineering – not just slot cars – but model aircraft and model power boats – but the great atmosphere and competitive racing at Hawthorne Park slot car club are presently enthusing Mike to the extent that slot cars are now his primary interest. Mike is also developing a reputation as someone who has a keen eye for finding slot car bargains – often causing huge envy at the club by showing off his latest purchase of a rare and/or very fast slot car….at an incredible bargain price…..quickly building up a personal collection of top notch slot cars.

Heat 6 saw another great race between Ted Martin – this time driving his Mini Cooper– and Mike Guy – now driving his Opel Kadett – again racing side by side but this time both flat out and each taking turns at leading by an inch or two – the battle was so intense that both drivers set personal lap records …

8.758 for Ted

8.745 for Mike

I hope that shows how close this race was….Mike was fractionally quicker but Ted just got his car in front to take another great win – again both drivers getting a huge round of applause from the spectators.

Ted Martin Mini Cooper
Ted Martin Mini Cooper

The Ted Martin Mini Cooper cooling down after winning heat 6

Heat 7 saw another exhibition of skilful driving as Phil Clayton drove his pretty – but tricky to drive – Renault Gordini to a close second just behind the Escort of Pete Crane.

Phil Clayton Renault Gordini
Phil Clayton Renault Gordini

Phil has a long history of supporting and leading Hawthorne Park slot car club and is the person club members turn to for help and advice regarding anything to do with slot cars, Phil was also instrumental in bringing the BRM Touring Car Class to fruition within the club and has helped many club members to tune up their cars.

The last heat of the night saw a truly great drive by Ted Martin who managed to snatch the overall win on the night by a 7 foot margin along with a new outright lap record for this class – 8.5 seconds.

Ted Martin total laps …..78.499

Pete Crane total laps…..78.222

BRM leader board
BRM leader board

Paul Minnis may not have had the best night in terms of his race results, but all members of the club complemented him on his choice of colour scheme for his Mini Cooper which looked stunning on the track – Paul is a regular class winner at other Hawthorne Park slot car events and hopefully will get his Mini sorted ready for the next round of the Copper Braid Products Ltd sponsored series.

Paul Minnis Mini Cooper
Paul Minnis Mini Cooper

After another great nights racing, it looks like Ted Martin is starting to look like the favourite to take the magnificent Copper Braids Trophy home , but with 2 rounds still to take place nothing is yet certain…..

BRM Round 4 results
BRM Round 4 results

Round 5 will take place on Friday 17th April (since postponed due to virus restrictions) at Hawthorne Park slot car club, and a full entry is expected……

BRM trophy
BRM trophy

The magnificent Copper Braids Products Trophy

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Copper price £ 4.10 / kg and stocks 216 kT

Copper price recovers to £ 4.10 / kg as China emerges from lock down and western leaders consider how to exit their lock down.

Major recession in the western economies will depress demand for at least the rest of this year.

As the virus spreads through copper mining areas there is potential for supply disruption, so I expect that the price of copper will remain relatively stable.

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Copper price £ 4.38 / kg and stocks 176 kT

Copper price has fallen on fears for the world economy following the virus in China and potential implications for the flow of trade to and from China, even though all China cargo routes are still open.

With laboratories around the world racing to be the first to find a vaccine for the virus it’s just a matter of time before the economic outlook improves and the price of copper rebounds.

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Copper price steady at £ 4.71 / kg as stocks fall further to 135 kT

I can understand stocks continuing to fall as the global economy recovers but I cannot understand why the price of copper is no rising.

In a supply / demand economy the price of copper should be increasing with falling stocks, which are close now to the lowest they have been in the last decade. Dealers must have the opinion that either demand will drop off or that supply will increase.

However, the risk from copper prices not tracking stocks is that when the market does react it will over react and push the price of copper into a higher than necessary peak, with subsequent disruption to markets.

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Price of copper jumps to £4.68 / kg as stocks fall to 162 kT

The price of copper has jumped from £4.55 / kg to £ 4.68 / kg over the last week as stocks fell from 190 kT to 162 kT.

This may be due to supply issues but more likely has been caused by an upturn in the global economy as the USA and China edge towards a trade agreement.

Whether the price of copper will stabalise depends on how quickly copper suppliers can respond. If they are sitting on stocks then they could ship them to the LME warehouses relatively quickly. However, the producers may also sit tight and pocket the profit from a market that has turned from demand driven to supply driven.

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BRM Saloon (Historic Touring Cars)

Hawthorne Park Slot Car Club

BRM Saloon (Historic Touring Cars)

Sponsored by Copper Braid Products Ltd

August 2019 – after months of expectation a real buzz existed in the clubroom of the Hawthorne Park Slot Car Club as everyone had a new 1/24th scale BRM historic touring car model to race and enjoy – all enabled by the generosity of our long term club sponsor Copper Braid Products Ltd.

Our sponsor had both funded a magnificent trophy to be awarded at the end of the racing series and contributed toward the cost of the new car that every club member was now lucky enough to own, enjoy and race.

All of the slot cars were manufactured by BRM and were complete models in every detail of the real racing cars that pounded the race tracks of Europe back in the 1970’s…..but these models were built to race ….not to stand silent on a shelf and collect dust.

BRM cars on grid

Friday night – August 16th 2019 and after all the discussion about which car to choose – Ford Escort ?.. Mini  ? ..NSU TT ?.. Fiat Abarth ? ..Renault ?… at last racing would happen and some winners be declared.

Heat 1 – the cars all look and sound fantastic racing around the track – Ted Martin wins with 2 Mini’s close behind – his best lap of 9.0 seconds sets the first lap record in this class.

BRM racing heat 1

Heat 2 sees Escorts first and second – this time with Geoff Taylor and Pete Crane driving – while the Renault of Phil Clayton and Mini of Paul Minnis give spirited chase – but none come close to the time set  by Ted Martin in heat 1.

Heat 3 – Barry Friess is the holder of the outright lap record at Hawthorne Park Slot Car Club (7.1 seconds !) and is well known for being an expert tuner of Mini slot cars – so it was no surprise that he both won this heat and set a new lap record of 8.9 seconds during a great dice with an Escort beautifully driven by Mike Guy.

Heat 4 – Geoff Taylor and Pete Crane driving identical red and gold Escorts race together swapping places – but neither is quick enough because…..

Heat 5 – Ted Martin unleashed his fearsome flying Fiat – perfectly set up and well run in – Ted pilots it to perfection setting a new 8.6 second lap record on the way to being the first driver to record over 20 laps in a heat.

Heat 6 – Phil Clayton driving a Renault Gordini and Pete Wright driving a Mini Cooper S enjoy a good panel bashing dice together – but the formation flying of the red and gold Escort team of Pete Crane and Geoff Taylor sees them hold on for another win.

Heat 7 – the best race of the evening – Barry Friess driving his Mini Cooper S, Mike Guy his Escort, Pete Wright his Mini and Ted Martin back with his Escort – all lead the race at one time or another – Ted just takes the win by inches.

BRM results heat 7

Heat 8 – Paul Minnis has his Mini Cooper working well and looks set for the heat win until a small off allows Pete Crane to sneak through with Phil Clayton and Geoff Taylor squabbling over 3rd place.

Everyone agrees that the racing has been really enjoyable and that the new class is already a big hit…… good looking cars that drive well and are all evenly matched equals great racing and a good night out at the Hawthorne Park Slot Car Club.

Ted Martin is a key member of the Hawthorne Park slot car club and was instrumental in bringing this new class to life – so it seems fitting that he ends up winning the first round of racing – well done Ted.

BRM trophy sponsored by Copper Braid Products

The magnificent Copper Braid Products Trophy will be awarded at the end of the series – Ted Martin presently in the lead.