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Markets

London copper surpasses $9,000/T for first time since Sept 2011

  • Rapidly rising tin demand from electronic companies and low inventories coupled with supply and shipping disruptions will likely support prices of the shouldering metal in the near term.
22 Feb 2021

HANOI: London copper prices extended gains on Monday to cross the $9,000-a-tonne level for the first time since September 2011, driven by a weaker dollar and hopes that demand in top consumer China will pick up after the Lunar New Year holiday break.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange climbed as much as 3.3% to $9,199 a tonne, the highest since September 2011. The contract is now 10% below the all-time high of $10,190 a tonne touched in February 2011.

The most-traded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced as much as 6% to 67,370 yuan ($10,428.15) a tonne, its highest since August 2011.

"With the Lunar New Year holidays having just ended, we expect pricing to rise," said Canaccord Genuity analysts in a note, referring to China's holidays during Feb. 11-17, when business and construction activity are typically slow.

"While some of the latest moves appear to be speculative, the key sentiment drivers remain the same," the note said, adding that liquidity, stimulus, weaker dollar and limited supplies also lent support to the red metal.

The dollar fell to a three-year low, making greenback-priced LME metals cheaper to holders of other currencies.

FUNDAMENTALS

  • LME cash copper was at a $37.25-a-tonne premium over the three-month contract, the highest since Sept. 18, indicating tight nearby supplies.

  • Rapidly rising tin demand from electronic companies and low inventories coupled with supply and shipping disruptions will likely support prices of the shouldering metal in the near term.

  • ShFE tin leaped as much as 8.6% to a record high of 194,030 yuan a tonne. LME tin hit its highest since August 2011 at $27,000 a tonne.

  • LME nickel rose 2.1% to $19,995 a tonne at 0510 GMT, while ShFE nickel advanced 4.2% to 147,980 yuan a tonne and SHFE zinc increased 2.4% to $22,035 a tonne.