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Markets

Copper prices inch lower as Chinese imports rise

  • LME aluminium fell 0.1% to $3,064 a tonne, nickel rose 0.4% to $19,060 a tonne while tin fell 1.7% to $35,850 a tonne
Published October 13, 2021

Copper prices edged down on Wednesday as a rise in imports in top consumer China countered worries over tightening supplies in the country.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange eased 0.1% to $9,460.50 a tonne by 0348 GMT, while the most-traded November copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.5% to 69,9630 yuan ($108,547.18) a tonne.

China's copper imports in September rose from the previous month, customs data showed, snapping a run of five straight monthly declines as shipments previously held up by pandemic curbs belatedly arrived in the country.

Copper inventories in ShFE warehouses have dropped nearly 80% since May to 50,062 tonnes, and LME stocks were at a near eight-month low of 65,500 tonnes.

Copper steady as low inventories offset growth fears

The premium of LME cash over the three-month contract jumped to above $50 a tonne this week, indicating tight nearby supplies.

The Yangshan copper premium hit $140 a tonne, its highest since 2014, indicating strong demand to import the metal into China.

Fundamentals

LME aluminium fell 0.1% to $3,064 a tonne, nickel rose 0.4% to $19,060 a tonne while tin fell 1.7% to $35,850 a tonne.

ShFE aluminium rose 1% to 23,645 yuan a tonne, nickel fell 0.7% to 144,290 yuan a tonne, zinc rose 0.7% to 23,820 yuan a tonne, lead declined 1% to 14,740 yuan a tonne and tin dropped 1.9% to 274,480 yuan a tonne.

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