Since the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19, infested the United States in early March 2020, U.S. businesses have had to re-evaluate their ongoing business outlook and each company’s approach in their particular segment, whether they are large or small.
The reassessment has faced management mandates never met before, anywhere. In the century-long existence of modern business, these new methods are critical, even to the point of survival. They affect labor employees, product retention, area of existence, etc., as to what new positions to take immediately and in the future. Unfortunately, not more than a few corporations are finding that COVID-19 requires reaffirmation from A to Z.
The resulting chaos may find tragedy and survival incapable. Especially hard-hit will be the small independents with a single product or only a few products.
Wary of missteps, companies are turning to consultants and academic experts for health and safety guidance. The Center for Public Health Practice at the Colorado School of Public Health broadened its subject’s external “students” to more than double; these are primarily made up of company representatives hoping to gain answers quickly.
Businesses are also hiring more “hands-on” help, who are consulting directly with employers on workplace safety. They are advising them on such issues as how high realistic barriers should be, whether employees should sit back to back, or if changes in the ventilation are needed — trying to find the best practices to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Some early work with meat packers is even exposing what certain meats may be most associated with spreading the vicious virus, which supposedly was started in a meatpacking plant of a major Chinese city.
While the original threat of this coronavirus disaster has somewhat abated, a second round began making its way throughout the world in July.
COVID-19 will heavily influence the upcoming presidential election — whom will the American voting public assesses as the best candidate qualified to “protect” the country in this disaster’s aftermath?
Surging Copper Prices Project Economic Growth
The surprising surge of the 2020 stock market “boomlet” has been led primarily by investments that visualize end-use sectors as reflecting demand from manufacturers and distributors benefitting from this comeback.
In the pipe/valves/fittings sectors of my primary interest, copper element demand has always been a leading sign of future growth, as it is the most prominent element in much of this industry segment. Because copper is widely used in the global manufacturing sector and critical to making everything from smartphones to houses, many manufacturers use its prices as an economic indicator.
Copper is closely linked to growth in China, in particular. The world’s second-largest economy’s consumers use roughly half of the world’s copper availability and are growing the fastest. Recent data indicates a growth recovery in that giant nation stronger than analysts anticipated after the coronavirus shutdown of Chinese manufacturing early in 2020.
The 35 percent climb on copper demand from a low in March is part of a broader surge in volatile assets as individual investors and speculators around the world try to keep up with its momentum. The Shanghai composite index recently hit a nearly 2 1/2-year high while the tech-leader NASDAQ stock market composite rose to record highs late in the first half of 2020.
Gains in popular investments, such as electric automaker Tesla Inc., have become particularly high, underscoring a wide-ranging rally that is leaving skeptics open-minded in amazement. Hedge funds and other speculative investors increased most bets on higher copper prices in upward weekly increases. In addition to copper, traders also are shifting their bets to other raw materials distributed by companies such as Freeport-McMoRan and Southern Copper Corp. These also have benefitted from the current metal price increase, but demand isn’t the only factor fueling these gains.
With output from most miners somewhat limited and demand picking up, global copper stockpiles also are dropping since the overseas capabilities are even more limited. The subsequent import prices are moving up too fast, in addition to the forthcoming production rebound.
But playbacks from domestic copper companies indicate their worry is not with future overkill but availability, especially as the coronavirus is reduced, we hope, in the months ahead. Whatever the future downturn may bring, leading copper manufacturers are more concerned with the here-and-now demand.