As global economic barometers go, copper has been a fairly-accurate indicator of global growth during the past 10 years.
Copper prices peaked on US commodity exchange Comex and on the London Metal Exchange (LME) on 14 February 2011 at $4.63 per pound and $10,179.50 per tonne respectively.
At that point global economic growth stood at an annual rate of around 4.3% having peaked at 5.4% in the previous year.
The year 2011 was a stellar year for industrial metals. Chinese growth still above 9% - down from a peak close to 12% in the first quarter of 2010 - was powering a metals super-cycle.
A super-cycle driven by record demand for copper that put tremendous pressure on supply from miners and smelters and pushing prices ever higher.
Indeed, China has been a prime mover of industrial metals.
As Beijing attempted to rebalance its economy away from its reliance on exports to refocus on stimulating domestic demand, its economic growth began to slow, impacting also on global growth.
Beijing's efforts to modernise didn't stop at attempts to forge a more mature economy. Pollution in its major cities was met with production curbs that has hit output.
Copper prices began a slow decline, hitting cycle lows in mid-2016. LME three-month copper fell as low as $4,317 a tonne.
But prices appear to be on the move upwards again. Thanks to an upsurge in global growth - led by the US and a resurgent eurozone - investors are beginning to see past China's undoubtable influence.
LME prices have traded above $7,000 for much of 2018 and many are forecasting further rises as global growth picks up pace.
This growth pick up also includes China. Earlier this week, data showed Chinese industrial production rose to an annual rate of 7.2%, beating expectations of 6.6%.
"The demand outlook for the red metal remains positive with expectations of a recovery in Chinese demand," says Harry Floyd, partner at JLT Mining, a commodities risk management services, in his November 2017 report.
Supply and demand fundamentals also appear to be in support of copper prices. This was a key theme at this week's International Copper Conference.
Copper concentrate markets are entering structural deficits. Mine supply growth has lagged demand, and wide gaps could especially emerge after 2020, the final communique from the conference found.
Meanwhile, mine owners are currently negotiating labour contract renewals which could make markets extremely tight if the talks prompt strike action.
"Last year the duration of strikes at Escondida in Chile generated losses in supply," says Oliver Nugent, commodities strategist at ING. He adds, however, that of 34 labour contracts up for renewal this year, just nine are earmarked as high risk.
The weak dollar has also been supportive of metals prices. Copper, like most commodities, is priced in the US currency and as the dollar weakens, it makes the metal cheaper to import in other currencies.
While copper is down slightly on the year, it remains up 22% since last June, during which time the dollar is down 7.4% on a trade-weighted basis.
Floyd at JLT Mining adds: "This has been driven by President Trump’s plans to boost spending on infrastructure and construction, depreciation of the US dollar and the rising use of copper in electric vehicles and other electrical applications."
As the outlook for global growth remains robust, so too do the prospects for copper prices.
Some mines are beginning to report falling production volumes as ore grades deteriorate. On Friday, Mongolian copper miner Oyu Tolgoi reported falling output, while earlier in the week Chilean miner Antofagasta forecast a slight supply deficit for this year and next, affected by the "long-term trend of grade decline and lack of new investment".
Nugent at ING adds: "2018 will be another year of significant concentrate shortage with mine supply only growing 1.5%."
"We are more bullish than ever. The higher prices are coming," he concludes.