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Markets

Copper hits record high on industry and speculative buying

  • Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) broke above the previous record high of $10,190 set in 2011 and had gained 2.3% to $10,325.
  • The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed as much as 2.7% to 74,950 yuan ($11,603) a tonne, its highest since May 2006 and only 1.6% below its record peak of 76,160 yuan.
07 May 2021

LONDON: Copper burst higher on Friday to a record peak, fuelled by speculators and industrial buyers on the back of rosy economic data as Western economies recover from the pandemic.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) broke above the previous record high of $10,190 set in 2011 and had gained 2.3% to $10,325 by 1000 GMT.

Prices have soared by 135% since the lows of last March when the emerging COVID-19 pandemic began to hit demand.

"We're in uncharted territory right now and the market is a bit frothy. The industrial players are in panic mode since there's not much supply," said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at Milan consultancy T-Commodity.

"But once stock levels in industrial warehouses start to stabilise, together with the credit slowdown in China, that should pave the way for some consolidation lower."

The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed as much as 2.7% to 74,950 yuan ($11,603) a tonne, its highest since May 2006 and only 1.6% below its record peak of 76,160 yuan.

China's copper imports in April fell from the previous month, customs data showed, as a price rally to the highest levels in a decade made purchases less appealing.

Indonesia's refined tin exports in April were 7,007.29 tonnes, up 66% from the same month last year, trade ministry data showed.

LME aluminium jumped by 2% to $2,537 a tonne, its highest since April 2018, while zinc advanced 1% to $2,972.50, lead firmed 0.1% to $2,220, nickel rose 0.7% to $f18,055 and tin dropped 1.1% to $29,800.