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Markets

Copper rallies as supply risk grows in top miner Chile

  • "Lockdowns are easing in many economies and that should drive up demand," said WisdomTree analyst Nitesh Shah.
  • BHP Group said it would ramp down activity at its Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile. The mine produced 71,700 tonnes of copper in 2019.
02 Jul, 2020

LONDON: Copper gained for a sixth straight session on Thursday due to supply disruptions in the world's largest producer Chile and more signs of recovery in large economies.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.5% to $6,090 a tonne at 1138 GMT, after touching its strongest since Jan. 22.

The metal was on track for its seventh straight week of gains, which would be its longest winning streak in nearly three years.

"Lockdowns are easing in many economies and that should drive up demand," said WisdomTree analyst Nitesh Shah.

"At the same time, mines in Chile are experiencing problems in terms of COVID-19 cases."

BHP Group said it would ramp down activity at its Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile. The mine produced 71,700 tonnes of copper in 2019, accounting for about 1.2% of Chile's total.

This comes a week after Chile state miner Codelco said it would close its refinery and foundry operations at its Chuquicamata division to arrest the spread of the coronavirus.

GLOBAL ECONOMY: A slump in global manufacturing showed signs of easing in June as a rebound in Chinese and US activity offered some hope the world's two largest economies may have passed the worst of the devastation caused by the novel coronavirus, while the collapse in European factory activity abated.

POSITIONS: Supporting copper were rising bets for higher prices, with the net long on LME copper extending to around 5.3% of open interest as of Tuesday, according to broker Marex Spectron. These are levels not seen since January.

CHALCO: Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, known as Chalco, said it would implement "flexible production", a phrase used to refer to output cuts, at three alumina production lines accounting for about 10% of its total capacity.

OTHER PRICES: Aluminium was barely changed at $1,620 per tonne, zinc gained 0.4% to $2,050, lead added 0.4% to $1,780, tin rose 0.2% to $16,790 while nickel advanced 0.2% to $12,875 a tonne.

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