SINGAPORE/LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) – A series of copper mine
shutdowns and supply logjams has prompted some analysts to scale
down forecasts for a market surplus, but it would take more
disruptions to swing the market into a deficit.
“People are making adjustments, we certainly are. At the
beginning of the year we were pencilling in a 300,000 tonne
surplus. That’s probably going to be pegged back by half or so,”
analyst Robin Bhar at Societe Generale in London said.
LONDON/SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) – Copper slid 3 percent
and oil dropped for a third day on Thursday after factory
surveys suggested that China’s economic recovery has stalled and
that the euro zone economy would contract again in the second
Gold swam against the tide, however, bouncing and regaining
some of its safe-haven allure amid worries of stagnant global
LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) – Copper reversed the week’s gains, sliding as much
as 3 percent on Thursday after a survey showed factory activity in top metals
consumer China shrank for the first time in seven months.
Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slid 3.2
percent to a session low of $7,233 per tonne. It failed to trade in official
rings but was bid at $7,319.5 per tonne.
LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – Duferco, one of the world’s
largest steel trading firms, said it was being forced to sharply
expand trade financing for its clients as banks constrict
exposure to the troubled industry.
Banks are increasingly withdrawing from Europe’s steel
business as austerity measures crimp construction and
manufacturing, hitting demand in the region.
LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) – A rush to lock in financing deals
for zinc while they are still profitable has been the main
driver behind a recent fall in inventories and will keep
premiums high for industrial users, industry sources said.
Stockpiles of zinc in warehouses monitored by the London
Metal Exchange have slid by 197,775 tonnes or 16
percent since early December, while inventories on the Shanghai
Futures Exchange have declined 9 percent.
LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) – Copper dipped on Tuesday as investors nervously
awaited economic data this week from top metals consumer China and on persistent
concern about global metals demand despite a recent decline in copper
Chinese trade data will be released on Wednesday that is expected to show
copper arrivals eased slightly in April.
Inflation numbers are due on Thursday and money supply and loan growth
expected from Friday.
The copper market may have over-reacted on Friday when it soared by more
than 6 percent after a strong U.S. jobs report helped fuel hopes that an
improvement in the world’s largest economy would spur global growth, a London
“We may have done a bit too much on Friday and now people are a bit wary
about the Chinese data tomorrow,” he said. “We really need to break through
$7,400 to make more gains on the upside.”
Copper touched a session peak of $7,374 on Tuesday, the highest in three
weeks, but failed to sustain the higher levels and slipped into negative
Three-month LME copper was down 0.6 percent at $7,221.50 a tonne by
1324 GMT. It has lost 14 percent since hitting $8,346 early February, the
highest so far in 2013.
Last month, copper hit its lowest in a year and a half following weak growth
data from China.
“The first quarter underperformance of Chinese growth has put many investors
on the sidelines. (Meanwhile) the new government is looking for long-term rather
than short-term solutions,” ANZ analysts said in a note.
“While we do expect Chinese demand to improve (this quarter), the stronger
seasonal demand profile may end up being lukewarm.”
China is the world’s top copper consumer, accounting for some 40 percent of
Its refined copper imports fell 36.7 percent from a year ago to 218,823
tonnes in March, but the steep fall in London copper prices in mid-April has
opened the window for Chinese imports, with benchmark LME copper currently
trading at a discount of about $39 to its Shanghai counterpart.
“Chinese metals apparent demand has outperformed expectations year to date.
The near term could thus see bouts of short covering, (but there are) growing
expectations that Chinese demand will weaken into the second half,” said
Macquarie in a note.
Still, some investors remained heartened by the decline in
copper stocks fall in both Shanghai and on the London Metal Exchange.
Latest data showed Shanghai stocks at 213,782 tonnes, their lowest since
late February, while LME stocks are at 604,600, their lowest since early April,
having hit their highest in nearly a decade in late April.
“We can (expect copper) closer to $8,000 a tonne this quarter. There’s a
lack of scrap especially in China, premiums have increased, there’s a
backwardation on Shanghai markets, things have tightened up because prices have
been so low,” said Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar.
He added, however: “This is certainly not the start of a new bull run, it’s
just a corrective bounce.”
STOCKS WEIGH ON NICKEL
Nickel and tin were the worst performing LME metals on Tuesday. Nickel
traded down 1.2 percent to $15,022 a tonne and tin fell 1.25
percent to $20,195.
Analyst Edward Meir at INTL FCStone said near record levels of nickel
inventories would continue to weigh on the market.
“Metal seems to be heading into warehouses that have not stored nickel in
years, yet more evidence that exchanges are being viewed as buyers of last
resort,” he said in a note.
“We cannot get too excited about nickel prospects over the short-term and
once more normal conditions set in after Friday’s bounce, we expect to see a
$14,400 – $15,700 trading range set in over the balance of May.”
Aluminium declined 0.72 percent to $1,868.50 a tonne, while zinc
lost 0.74 percent to $1,871 a tonne and lead fell 0.33 percent
LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – Laser beams and microwave dishes
are the latest weapons in an arms race to shave milliseconds off
dealing times in the shadowy world of high-speed, computerised
Traders, who make money by exploiting tiny, lightning-fast
price changes on exchanges, are now targeting Europe and Asia
after skirmishing in the United States.
LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – Alcoa expects to more
than triple its sales of aluminium sheet to automakers by 2015
as they reduce car weight by substituting it for steel in car
bodies, an Alcoa executive said.
Revenue from auto sheet – mainly used in car bodies – is
expected to surge to $580 million by 2015 from $160 million last
year, Randall Scheps, global automotive marketing director, said
in a telephone interview.
LONDON/SINGAPORE, April 16 (Reuters) – Brent crude extended
losses on Tuesday, sliding below $100 a barrel for the first
time in nine months, while gold and copper rebounded from
multi-year lows after a two-day rout on commodity markets.
Other precious metals such as platinum and palladium also
bounced back, although caution prevailed among investors worried
over the health of the global economy after weak data from China
and the United States in recent days.
LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) – Aluminium smelters are set to
open in China at a faster pace than producers there and
worldwide shut loss-making plants to tackle a glut that keeps
the metal’s prices weak.
So far this year, analysts estimate cutbacks in aluminium
production have totalled as much as 700,000 tonnes in China, the
world’s biggest consumer and producer, after prices shed more
than 10 percent since January.