Hedge fund investment in the metals industry is at its highest since 2011, according to investment data, Reuters reports.
This compares with a peak of $28.98 billion in 2010 and a low of $10.16 billion in 2015.
Data from Barclays (NYSE: BCS) shows investment in industrial metals, including from indices and exchange-traded funds, totalled $27 billion in July, up from $23 billion a year ago and $14 billion in 2015.
This is a clear sign that investors are hoping to profit from a rise in prices that have been underestimated for a very long time.
The investment by hedge funds follows a broader inflow of money into industrial metals, where prices are rising after production cutbacks helped to reduce a supply glut.
The metals industry's fortunes are turning, as an environmental crackdown in China, the world's second-largest economy and biggest consumer and producer of industrial metals, in polluting industries cuts supplies.
"We're seeing renewed interest in metals for a number of reasons ... including portfolio diversification and six years of a bear market," said Gerardo Tarricone, founder at Arion Investment Management, which is expected to launch with $10 million in start-up capital in October.