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Markets

Shanghai copper nears decade high on demand optimism, supply concerns

  • Tin gained 2% to $25,050 a tonne, after earlier hitting $25,125, its loftiest since February 2013, due to tight supply and limited availability of ships to transport the material.
18 Feb, 2021

Copper prices jumped on Thursday to their highest in nearly a decade as top metals consumer China returned from a week-long Lunar New Year holiday, with brightening global demand prospects and supply concerns underpinning the market.

Upbeat US data, including retail sales, signs the Federal Reserve will maintain its accommodative stance and hopes for further US stimulus bolstered expectations of a swift global recovery, which bodes well for metals demand.

Most-traded March copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 5.3% to 63,210 yuan ($9,787.86) a tonne by 0700 GMT, after earlier advancing to 63,290 yuan, a level not seen since September 2011.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 2.4% to $8,595 a tonne, its strongest since April 2012, resuming its rally after a modest pullback in the previous session.

"Copper could still rise above $9,000 a tonne on strong Chinese demand and falling inventories," ANZ senior commodity strategists said in a note.

  • Copper stocks in LME-registered warehouses stand at 76,175 tonnes, the highest so far this week but still near September's 15-year low.

  • Copper stocks in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange have fallen 60% since September to below 80,000 tonnes.

  • Tin gained 2% to $25,050 a tonne, after earlier hitting $25,125, its loftiest since February 2013, due to tight supply and limited availability of ships to transport the material.

  • Other industrial metals rose in Shanghai, with tin climbing by 5.8%, aluminium by 4.1%, zinc by 4.9%, nickel by 2.6% and lead by 1.7%.

  • In London, aluminium advanced 1% to $2,135/tonne, nickel gained 0.2% to $18,790/tonne, zinc advanced 1% to $2,844/tonne and lead gained 0.5% to $2121.50/tonne.

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