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Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn has made a “sincere apology” for installing “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests on the automaker’s diesel cars.
Michael Horn said the events were “deeply troubling”.
He added: “I did not think that something like this was possible at the Volkswagen group.
“We have broken the trust of our customers, dealerships, employees as well as the public and the regulators.”
Michael Horn was giving evidence before a Congressional committee.
He said: “Let me be very clear: we at Volkswagen take full responsibility for our actions and we are working with all the relevant authorities in a cooperative way.”
Michael Horn said he was told about a “possible emissions non-compliance” in the spring of 2014.
However, he said he first learned about so called defeat devices being installed on VW diesel cars to manipulate emissions tests at the beginning of September, just before the scandal was made public.
Meanwhile, German public prosecutors have searched Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg headquarters as part of their investigation into the emissions scandal.
The prosecutor’s office said they were looking for data linked to the defeat devices.
German prosecutors launched their investigation into the scandal last week after receiving about a dozen criminal complaints from citizens and one from VW itself.
They say they are trying to find out who was responsible for the alleged manipulation and how it was carried out.
Michael Horn said he was told about problems with VW’s diesel cars meeting US emissions tests after the publication of a study by West Virginia University.
“I was informed that EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] regulations included various penalties for non-compliance with the emissions standards and that the agencies can conduct engineering tests which could include <<defeat device>> testing or analysis,” he said.
He told the members of the committee: “I had no idea what a defeat device was or that Volkswagen used them.”
Michael Horn said in the written evidence it was not until September 3, 2015, that Volkswagen told US authorities about the “defeat device” in emissions software in diesel vehicles for the model years 2009 to 2015.
The software allowed a vehicle to recognize whether it was being driven on the road or running in a test laboratory, and turn engine emissions controls on or off.
He said the company took full responsibility for its actions and was co-operating with all relevant authorities.
Michael Horn gave evidence to the House Energy committee and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations before being questioned by the politicians about the scandal, which affects half a million cars in the US.
Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has decided to suspend its president Sepp Blatter, secretary general Jerome Valcke and vice-president Michel Platini for 90 days.
The sanctions were handed out by the FIFA’s ethics committee, which is investigating the three over corruption allegations.
It also banned ex-FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-joon for six years.
Issa Hayatou, who heads Africa’s soccer confederation (CAF), will act as FIFA president during Sepp Blatter’s ban.
Spain’s Angel Maria Villar is expected to perform the same role at UEFA – European soccer’s governing body – while Michel Platini is suspended.
Photo Getty Images
Both Chung Mong-joon and Michel Platini are hoping to replace Sepp Blatter when he steps down as president in February 2016.
“The grounds for these decisions are the investigations that are being carried out by the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee,” the FIFA said in a statement.
Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke and Michel Platini are banned from any soccer activity in the interim. They deny any wrongdoing.
Earlier this year, US authorities indicted 14 FIFA officials and associates on bribery and racketeering charges. A simultaneous Swiss investigation was started into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Michel Platini and South Korean billionaire Chung Mong-joon – who was also fined 100,000 Swiss Francs by the ethics committee – are two of the leading candidates to replace Sepp Blatter in February.
Donald Trump’s challenge to a planned offshore wind farm close to his golf resort in Scotland will go to the UK’s Supreme Court in London on October 8.
Developers intend to site the large turbine structures close to Donald Trump’s golfing development on the Aberdeenshire coast in Scotland.
The Republican presidential hopeful has taken on the Scottish government, which approved the plan.
Donald Trump began his challenge to the decision to grant planning permission more than two years ago.
He was furious when the Scottish government approved plans for the renewable energy development within sight of his multi-million pound golf development on the Menie Estate in the north-east of Scotland.
Donald Trump said the 11 turbines would spoil the view.
He made a series of legal challenges in the Scottish courts and has now taken the fight to the UK’s Supreme Court in London.
Donald Trump has argued that planning consent for the wind farm was so imprecise as to make it legally invalid.
Following Donald Trump’s earlier unsuccessful actions in the Scottish courts, the Scottish government said its decision-making process had been vindicated and that the “painstaking work” of Marine Scotland staff who advised it was both fair and reasonable.
The UK’s Supreme Court judges are expected to deliver their verdict at a later date.
Michael Horn, the CEO and president of Volkswagen Group of America, has admitted he was aware early last year of the emissions cheating affecting millions of the company’s vehicles.
The VW US boss said he was told about “possible emissions non-compliance” in the spring of 2014.
The revelation was made in testimony due to be presented to a committee of the House of Representatives investigating the scandal on October 8.
Michael Horn said he was told after a study by West Virginia University was published.
“I was informed that EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] regulations included various penalties for non-compliance with the emissions standards and that the agencies can conduct engineering tests which could include ‘defeat device’ testing or analysis,” he said.
“I was also informed that the company engineers would work with the agencies to resolve the issue.”
Michael Horn said in the written evidence it was not until September 3, 2015, that VW told US authorities about the “defeat device” in emissions software in diesel vehicles for the model years 2009 to 2015.
The software allowed a vehicle to recognize whether it was being driven on the road or running in a test laboratory, and turn engine emissions controls on or off.
Michael Horn said the events had been “deeply troubling”, adding: “I did not think that something like this was possible at the Volkswagen Group.
“We have broken the trust of our customers, dealerships, and employees, as well as the public and regulators.”
He said the company took full responsibility for its actions and was co-operating with all relevant authorities.
“Responsible parties will be identified and held accountable,” Michael Horn said.
As well as striving to rebuild the automaker’s reputation, the priority was finding remedies for the three groups of vehicles affected, he said.
Michael Horn will give evidence to the House Energy committee and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations before being questioned by the politicians about the scandal, which affects half a million cars in the US.
VW on October 7 appointed former finance chief Hans Dieter Poetsch as its new chairman, following a board meeting to discuss the emissions scandal.
Hillary Clinton has come out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal championed by President Barack Obama.
The historic trade deal involves 12 countries along the Pacific rim, including the US, Australia and Japan.
In a recent interview, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said the agreement left many “unanswered questions” and did not met the “high bar” she had set.
“I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” she told PBS.
The former Secretary of State joins rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, in opposing the agreement.
Photo Getty Images
The deal took five years to negotiate and covers 40% of the global economy.
In an interview on October 7, Hillary Clinton said she would only support a trade bill that helped American workers.
“I have said from the very beginning that we had to have a trade agreement that would create good American jobs, raise wages and advance our national security and I still believe that is the high bar we have to meet,” she said.
President Barack Obama, for whom the deal would be a prime economic achievement of his second term, said the deal would level the global playing field for US workers.
“[The deal] includes the strongest commitments on labor and the environment of any trade agreement in history,” he said after the agreement was reached.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton also plans to propose a tax on high-frequency trading, her campaign said.
The tax would target securities transactions with excessive levels of order cancelations that can destabilize the markets, a campaign aide said.
Hans Dieter Poetsch has been appointed as VW’s new chairman, following a board meeting to discuss the emissions scandal.
Former VW finance chief said it would be “some time” before the carmaker could uncover the details of the emissions test cheating.
Earlier, the automaker said it expected to start a recall of cars affected by the scandal in January 2016.
All affected cars will be fixed by the end of 2016, VW CEO Matthias Muller told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Only a few employees have been involved in the scandal, Matthias Muller added in the interview.
In his first pronouncement as chairman, Hans Dieter Poetsch said the company’s internal inquiry into the scandal would take time.
“Nobody is served by speculation or vague, preliminary progress reports,” he said.
“Therefore it will take some time until we have factual and reliable results and can provide you with comprehensive information,” Hans Dieter Poetsch added, before declining to take any questions.
VW has said emissions test-cheating software is present in 11 million diesel vehicles.
The company said it would also look into its various brands and models, singling out Bugatti, its supercar marque.
Earlier, Mathias Muller told employees at VW’s Wolfsburg home plant in Germany the company is facing changes that “will not be painless”.
All investments that were not deemed absolutely necessary would be abandoned or delayed, he said.
Technical solutions were “within view” and the firm would do everything it could to keep jobs secure, he added.
Future investment in plant, technology and vehicles would be put “under scrutiny”.
“We will do everything to ensure that Volkswagen will stand for good and secure jobs in the future,” he added.
VW has set aside €6.5 billion to cover the cost of the scandal, but analysts say the final bill could be much higher, with potential regulatory fines in the US, class action lawsuits and the cost of fixing the cars.
Soccer’s governing body FIFA has decided to provisionally suspend its president, Sepp Blatter, for ninety days.
Members of FIFA’s ethics committee met this week after the Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against Sepp Blatter, 79, in September. They have recommended a 90-day provisional suspension.
Swiss Sepp Blatter is accused of signing a contract “unfavorable” to soccer’s governing body and making a “disloyal payment” to UEFA president Michel Platini, 60.
Sepp Blatter, who has run FIFA since 1998, and Michel Platini, who wants to succeed him, deny any wrongdoing.
A final decision will be made on October 9 by Hans Joachim Eckhert, the head of FIFA’s ethics adjudicatory chamber, according to a close friend of Sepp Blatter.
No decision has been made on whether to suspend Michel Platini.
On October 7, Sepp Blatter told a German magazine that he was being “condemned without there being any evidence for wrongdoing”.
The ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber had been meeting in Zurich since October 5.
The investigation is centered on allegations believed to be around a 2005 TV rights deal between FIFA and Jack Warner, the former president of CONCACAF, the governing body of football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
It is also examining a payment of 2 million Swiss francs that Michel Platini received in 2011 for working for Sepp Blatter. He claims it was “valid compensation” for work carried out more than nine years previously.
Michel Platini has provided information to the criminal investigation but said he has done so as a witness.
Swiss prosecutors said Michel Platini is being treated as “in between a witness and an accused person” as they investigate corruption at FIFA.
Oscar Pistorius has been ordered to undergo psychotherapy by a judge-led panel which upheld a decision taken in August to block his release from prison.
The treatment should focus on the factors leading to the crime that he committed, an official statement said.
The convicted South African athlete shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home in 2013, saying he mistook her for a burglar.
Oscar Pistorius, now 28, was convicted of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, in 2014.
The double amputee had hoped to be released in August after a parole board ruled that he could serve the rest of his five-year prison sentence under house arrest.
However, South Africa’s Justice Minister Michael Masutha prevented the release, saying the decision had been taken prematurely.
At the time of his intervention, Oscar Pistorius had been granted parole only six months into his five-year sentence.
Michael Masutha argued that the law states that an offender can only be considered for parole after serving one-sixth of his sentence, in this case 10 months.
On October 5, a panel, led by Judge Lucy Mailula, ruled that Michael Masutha had acted correctly.
It said the parole board should again consider Ocar Pistorius’ request to be placed under house arrest, or correctional supervision.
The panel ruled that psychotherapy should be given “even if the offender is, indeed placed under correctional supervision”, the prisons department said in a statement.
Oscar Pistorius should “be subjected to psychotherapy in order to address criminogenic factors of the crime he committed,” it said.
It also ruled that the parole board should consider imposing conditions restricting the use of firearms by the offender, the statement added.
Reeva Steenkamp was killed after he fired multiple shots though a locked door on Valentine’s Day 2013.
High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa acquitted Oscar Pistorius of murder in 2014, saying there was insufficient proof to convict him.
The prosecution has appealed against the acquittal and the case will be heard next month by some of South Africa’s most senior judges.
Oscar Pistorius, who was born without the fibulas in both of his legs, and had surgery to amputate both below the knee while still a baby, went on to become one of South Africa’s best-known sports stars, and was the first amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – the world’s biggest ever trade deal – was signed into existence on October 5.
The TPP cuts trade tariffs and sets common standards in trade for 12 Pacific rim countries, including the United States and Japan.
It marks the end of five years of often bitter and tense negotiations.
The deal covers about 40% of the world economy and was signed after five days of talks in Atlanta in the US.
Supporters say it could be worth billions of dollars to the countries involved but critics say it was negotiated in secret and is biased towards corporations.
Despite the success of the negotiations, the deal still has to be ratified by lawmakers in each country.
For President Barack Obama, the trade deal is a major victory.
He said: “This partnership levels the playing field for our farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers by eliminating more than 18,000 taxes that various countries put on our products.”
Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, said: “Wall Street and other big corporations have won again.”
Bernie Sanders said the deal would cost US jobs and hurt consumers and that he would “do all that I can to defeat this agreement” in Congress.
China was not involved in the agreement, and the Obama administration is hoping it will be forced to accept most of the standards laid down by TTP.
He said: “When more than 95% of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy.
“We should write those rules, opening new markets to American products while setting high standards for protecting workers and preserving our environment.”
Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe told reporters the deal was a “major outcome not just for Japan but also for the future of the Asia-Pacific” region.
The final round of talks was delayed by negotiations over how long pharmaceutical corporations should be allowed to keep a monopoly period on their drugs.
The US wanted 12 years of protection, saying that by guaranteeing revenues over a long period it encouraged companies to invest in new research.
Australia, New Zealand and several public health groups argued for five years before allowing cheaper generic or “copy-cat” into the market.
They said a shorter patent would bring down drug costs for health services and bring lifesaving medicine to poorer patients.
Even though a compromise was reached, no definitive protection period was confirmed.
Speaking at a press conference following the deal, US Trade Representative Michael Froman hailed the deal as the first to set a period of protection for patents on new drugs, which he said would “incentivize” drug producers.
However, the Washington-based Biotechnology Industry Association said it was “very disappointed” by the reports that the agreement fell short of the 12-year protections sought by the US.
The auto industry was another area of intense negotiation with countries agonizing over how much of a vehicle had to be manufactured within the TPP countries in order to qualify for duty-free status.
Agriculture proved another sticking point with countries like New Zealand wanting more access to markets in Canada, Mexico, Japan and the US.
Canada meanwhile fought to keep access to its domestic dairy and poultry markets strictly limited. The issue and its impact on rural voters is particularly sensitive ahead of the federal election in two weeks time.
The World Bank has decided to cut Asia growth forecast for 2015 and 2016, because of the risks posed from a sharp slowdown in China and raising US interest rates.
The bank now expects growth in developing East Asia and the Pacific to be 6.5% in 2015 and 6.4% in 2016, down from an earlier forecast of 6.7%.
The latest estimate is even lower than growth of 6.8% in 2014.
Major development banks have recently revised lower their growth forecasts.
Last month, the Asian Development Bank said slowing growth in China would drag down the developing region’s growth to 5.8% in 2015.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also flagged in September that slowing growth in the world’s second largest economy posed a threat to the global economy.
“Developing East Asia’s growth is expected to slow because of China’s economic rebalancing and the pace of the expected normalization of US policy interest rates,” said the World Bank’s regional chief economist Sudhir Shetty in a statement on October 5.
“If China’s growth were to slow further, the effects would be felt in the rest of the region, especially in countries linked to China through trade, investment and tourism.”
East Asia accounts for almost two-fifths of the world’s economic growth, according to the World Bank.
The World Bank now expects China’s economy to grow 6.9% this year and 6.7% in 2016, down from an earlier forecast of 7.1% and 7% respectively.
China is headed for its slowest growth in a quarter of a century in 2015 and calls are growing that it may undershoot the government’s official target of 7%.
Interest rates in the US, meanwhile, are expected to rise for the first time in nearly a decade in the coming months, which could result in a flood of capital leaving emerging markets as Asian currencies are hit.
“While this increase has been anticipated and is likely to be orderly, there is still a risk that markets could react sharply to such tightening, causing currencies to depreciate, bond spreads to rise, capital inflows to fall, and liquidity to tighten,” the World Bank said.
For the first time less than 10% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015, the World Bank has said.
The World Bank said it was using a new income figure of $1.90 per day to define extreme poverty, up from $1.25.
The bank forecasts the proportion of the world’s population in this category to fall from 12.8% in 2012 to 9.6%.
However, it said the “growing concentration of global poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is of great concern”.
Photo Getty Images
Although the share of people in poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to fall from 42.6% in 2012 to 35.2% by the end of 2015, this will still represent around half of the world’s poor.
“We are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said.
The bank says the downward trend was due to strong growth rates in developing countries and investments in education, health, and social safety nets.
However, Jim Yong Kim warned that continuing the progress would be “extraordinarily hard, especially in a period of slower global growth, volatile financial markets, conflicts, high youth unemployment, and the growing impact of climate change”.
The World Bank warned that poverty is “becoming deeper and more entrenched in countries that are either conflict ridden or overly dependent on commodity exports”.
Air France-KLM is reportedly planning to cut 2,900 jobs after talks with pilots unions were unsuccessful.
The airline would not confirm the number of cuts, but said it would present a cost-cutting plan on October 5.
Profits at Air France have been hit in part by strikes by pilots, who have been protesting over the expansion of its budget subsidiary.
It also faces stiff competition from low-cost rivals as well as airlines in the Middle East.
Air France said after a board meeting that it had decided to implement a new restructuring plan in order to accelerate its recovery.
“Facing the impossibility of reaching an agreement to implement the productivity measures within Air France and restore long-term profitability, the board members consider it essential to introduce an alternative plan and have unanimously agreed to mandate Air France-KLM and Air France Management to carry this out,” the company said in a statement.
The plan will be presented to the Works Council on October 5.
Union sources leaked the planned job cuts to reporters at two news agencies.
The unions also said the restructuring could include retiring five long haul planes next summer and nine others in 2017.
One official is quoted as saying: “These points were presented to the board for information, but no vote has been taken.”
According to the Labor Department figures, the US economy added only 142,000 jobs in September 2015, lowering the chance of an interest rate rise this year.
The number of jobs created in September was far lower than the 205,000 increase forecast by economists.
The July and August figures were revised down by a combined 59,000.
On October 2, Wall Street opened sharply lower, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes both down about 1.3%.
However, both indexes later recovered to be up about 0.5% and 0.6% respectively.
The poor figures also resulted in a rollercoaster ride for the FTSE 100, which ended the day up 0.9% at 6,129.9 points despite also turning negative in afternoon trading.
The Labor Department numbers reinforced fears that the China-led global economic slowdown is hitting America’s recovery, adding to doubt about whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates before 2016.
The number of new jobs for August was cut by 37,000 to 136,000 – in sharp contrast to the upward revision expected by economists.
The July total was also reduced, by 22,000 to 245,000.
The number of new jobs created in the US has averaged 198,000 a month for 2014 – below last year’s average of 260,000.
However, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.1%.
The jobless rate, which is derived from a separate survey of households, was unchanged only because 350,000 workers stopped looking for work last month and were no longer counted as part of the labor force.
The proportion of Americans who either have a job or are looking for one fell to a 38-year low, partly reflecting retirements of older workers from the baby boomer generation.
Average hourly wages fell by 1 cent to $25.09 during the month and were only 2.2% higher than the same month in 2014.
The data also knocked the dollar lower, with the pound rising 0.6% to $1.5238 after the numbers were released. Yields on government bonds also fell.
Italian authorities have opened an inquiry into Volkswagen over the rigging of emissions tests.
Italy’s competition watchdog said it had received several complaints from consumer groups against VW.
Earlier, the Paris prosecutor told Reuters it was investigating suspicions of “aggravated deception”.
Last month VW admitted that 11 million of its vehicles were fitted with devices that allowed them to cheat emissions tests.
VW shares fell 4.5% to a four-year-low on October 2, adding to a 44% plunge since the scandal began.
The German automaker faces fines of up to $18 billion in the US and has already put aside €6.5 billion to cover the cost of the scandal.
“Consumers may have been misled in their purchasing decisions by the claims used by Volkswagen on emissions,” Italy’s competition authority said.
The investigation relates to cars sold between 2009 and 2015 under the VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands.
VW has said 650,000 of its vehicles in Italy were equipped with the cheat software and that it would begin to inform owners.
Separately, Swiss road authorities put a ban on the sale of new VW diesel cars, as well as imported used vehicles.
That follows news that UK sales of 4,000 vehicles, including Skoda, Audi and Seat brands, thought to be fitted with the cheat device, had been suspended.
However, UK transport authorities said that customers who had unwittingly bought VW cars with the defeat device would not face higher motor tax.
UK motor tax is partly based on the amount of emission released by a vehicle.
In the United States, VW has also stopped the sale of all new diesel cars.
The European Consumer Organization has written an open letter to new VW CEO Matthias Muller, urging the company to take quick action to restore consumer trust.
Its director Monique Goyens wrote: “VW’s actions have deeply shaken the trust of consumers in their cars, if not in an entire industry. Millions of car owners have truck-loads of questions about what this sham means for their own vehicle. We want VW to come clean and rebuild confidence with concrete steps.”
Tesla has unveiled its long-awaited Model X with a “bio-weapon defense” system and Falcon Wing doors.
The Model X is the third vehicle produced by the electric car-maker, and was unveiled nearly two years later than originally planned.
Tesla – which has yet to make a profit – said about 25,000 people had pre-ordered the all-electric SUV.
Analysts say the Model X should be a success because it will be seen as a status symbol.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the car launch in Fremont, California: “I think we got a little carried away with the X.
“There is far more there than is really necessary to sell a car.
“And some of the things are so difficult, they make the car better but the difficulty of engineering those parts is so high.”
Analysts say the model filled a gap in the market.
The sports utility vehicle (SUV) can fit seven people at a time.
The Model X’s Falcon Wing doors open upwards and use sensors to help them clear obstacles, such as garage ceilings. Tesla suggests this will make it easier to put young children in car seats without hitting their heads on the roof.
The biohazard button activates the air filtration system, which fills the cabin with “medical-grade air”.
The Model X also features a panoramic windshield that extends overhead, which Elon Musk said was the largest single piece of glass ever used in a car.
Tesla says the car, which has two electric motors, can travel about 250 miles on a single charge and features automatic functions that bring it “ever closer to autonomous operation”.
It will be continuously improved, Tesla says, via software transmitted “over the air”.
An update expected within the next month should enable an auto-pilot function, allowing the cars to be driven hands-free on motorways.
The Model X is priced as high as $144,000 and Tesla expects the pre-orders will take between 8 months and a year to fulfill.
Tesla has not disclosed pricing for the base model, but Elon Musk said that in the future there would be a “lower-cost” version.
The Model X is the third vehicle unveiled by Tesla. Its first was the Roadster sports car – which is no longer in production, and its second the Model S saloon.
Tesla has pledged to make its next vehicle – the Model 3 – lower cost. It is due to be revealed in 2017.
The company hopes to disrupt the car market by demonstrating that vehicles with electric motors do not need to compromise on speed or handling.
Tesla has yet to make a profit and its costs are mounting.
The company’s spending on fixed assets totaled $831.2 million over the first half of the year due to its investment in the Model X and Model 3 as well as a new battery factory in Nevada.
The Model X, Elon Musk said, “gives us a cash flow stream we can use to develop and facilitate” production and development.
In August 2015, Elon Musk said Tesla would make between 50,000 and 55,000 Model S and Model X vehicles this year, and would have the capacity to roll 1,600 to 1,800 vehicles off its production lines per week in 2016.
Copper price dropped almost 2% on September 29 and is close to its lowest level in six and a half years.
The price fell to $4,955 a tonne, just $100 above the level it reached in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis.
Demand for copper, which is used across industry from construction to car manufacturing, has suffered from the slowing Chinese economy.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs warned investors this week that prices would continue to fall.
Goldman Sachs analysts predicted copper prices would probably drop to $4,800 a tonne by the end of December and to $4,500 by the end of 2016.
The decline in copper is only a part of a global meltdown in commodity prices caused by China’s economic downturn.
The depth of the slump was emphasized on September 28 when shares in commodities trader and miner Glencore dived 30%.
Crude oil has fallen some 60% from June 2014, thermal coal has been on a long 60% slide since 2011, and iron ore is down even more, close to 70% since 2010.
The effects are rippling out into other sectors. On September 29, Japanese shipping business Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha filed for protection from creditors, caused by the collapse in Chinese demand for iron ore and coal.
Unsurprisingly the collapse sent a shiver through the rest of the Japanese shipping sector. Nippon Yusen, Mitsui OSK Lines, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha saw their shares fall between 4% and 8%.
The effects spread far wider than the mining companies and their support services.
Any economy dependent on commodity exports is seeing its currency punished.
Australia, whose iron ore, coal, oil and natural gas fuelled the Chinese boom, has seen its dollar lose more than a quarter of its value against the US dollar over the past year.
Chile, where copper makes up 30% of the value of its exports, is expected to announce on September 29 that public spending, having grown almost 10% last year, will rise by half that amount this year.
Economic growth there has slowed along with the fall in the copper price and a decline in investment in the mining sector.
For smaller countries the effect can be catastrophic.
On September 28, Zambia’s currency, the kwacha, fell more than 17% – its biggest one-day fall on record – as prices for its copper exports dived again. Copper accounts for 85% of Zambia’s exports.
The kwacha recovered on September 29 but it is down 45% on the year.
It has also been hit by the news that Glencore, Zambia’s second largest employer after the government, might make further cuts at its Mopani Copper Mines there. Last week, it announced it would lay off more than 3,800 workers.
Ratings agency Moody’s cut Zambia’s sovereign rating on September 25, making it more expensive to borrow in the international markets.