China copper

When will the fall in copper prices come to an end? Even the investment market can’t seem to decide with the Chinese shorting the metal and some western investors still long.

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Certainly those following the trend line downward have done handsomely in the last six months – at least as far as January.

Source: Kitco

Source: Kitco

Since then, the price falls have stopped and the value of the red metal has stabilized. Is this the point at which it turns? Many analysts point to fundamentals when trying to explain the direction and extent of price movements and, in the case of copper that has largely been two factors. Read more

Continued from Part One.

Copper demand in 2012 was poor. The downturn in Europe, which has led into a probable overall recession from the end of the year, combined with weak US demand and a weak third quarter in China, saw global copper growth of about 2.2%, by the bank’s estimates.

Chinese real demand is not expected to take off in 2013. The Chinese market is well served with inventory, although as we have identified in previous articles, some of this may be locked up in financing plays of China’s own design, facilitating grey market borrowing.

But even so, refined metal supply is strong on the basis of increased smelter refining, since better TCs have been available in recent months.

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Chinese copper demand appears to be suffering, and the effect on Chinese prices is evident — even if only by a rather small margin.

The FT’s Jack Farchy notes that a trifecta of factors in China is hitting the global copper market: “the country’s imports of the red metal tumbled 22 percent in October to their lowest in more than a year”;  copper stocks are at a record high, with inventories rising by roughly 135,000 metric tons in October, putting overall Shanghai inventories near 1 million tons, according to traders; and Chinese smelters have incongruously been producing more, with October output at 520,000 tons, up 10.7 percent from a year ago.

today's copper prices - MetalMiner IndX
Which left Chinese copper prices mixed for the week on the MetalMiner IndX℠.

The price of Chinese copper wire finished the week down 0.2 percent. The price of Chinese copper bar fell 0.2 percent over the past week as well, the third week in a row of declining prices. Also closing out the third week of declining prices, the cash price of Chinese copper dropped by 0.2 percent. Chinese bright copper scrap remained unchanged for the week.

The 3-month price of copper saw the biggest increase on the weekly Copper MMI® this week, rising 1.7 percent on the LME and settling at $7,735 per metric ton. Also on the LME, a 1.3 percent gain landed the cash price of primary copper at $7,716 per metric ton.

The price of US copper producer grades 102, 110 and 122 rose 1.2 percent after falling 0.2 percent during the previous week.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXFollowing a steady week, prices for Korean copper strip closed flat, and the cash price of primary Japanese copper traded sideways last week.

The Copper MMI® collects and weights 12 global copper metal price points to provide a unique view into copper price trends. For more information on the Copper MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

But First, Daily Copper Prices

The day’s biggest mover on MetalMiner’s copper price index was the LME copper 3-month price, which dropped by 0.5 percent on today's copper prices - MetalMiner IndXNov. 16, 2012 to close at $7,605 per metric ton. The primary copper cash price saw a 0.3 percent decline on the LME to $7,615 per metric ton.

The prices of US copper producer grades 102, 110 and 122 all gained 0.2 percent on the day. The cash price of primary Japanese copper was unchanged.

Chinese copper bar gained 0.4 percent, as did the cash price of Chinese copper. Chinese copper wire prices rose 0.3 percent, while Chinese bright copper scrap stayed flat.

Weekly Copper Price Trends

The biggest mover on the weekly Copper MMI® was Chinese bright copper scrap, which saw a 0.9 percent increase. The price of Chinese copper wire fell 0.4 percent, Chinese copper bar prices fell 0.3 percent and Chinese copper cash prices also fell 0.3 percent over the past week — the third week in a row of declining prices for the three metal forms.

The price of US copper producer grades 102, 110 and 122 all fell 0.2 percent over the past week, also the third week in a row of dropping producer prices.

Prices for Korean copper strip remained constant, and the Japanese copper cash price remained steady as well.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXThe primary copper cash price rose 0.1 percent on the LME to $7,615 per metric ton after falling 2.7 percent during the previous week. Also on the LME, the copper 3-month price closed at $7,605 per metric ton after a flat week.

The Copper MMI® collects and weights 12 global copper metal price points to provide a unique view into copper price trends. For more information on the Copper MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

today's copper prices - MetalMiner IndXOn Nov. 15, 2012, US copper producer grade 110 price fell by 0.5 percent, making it the day’s biggest mover on MetalMiner’s daily copper price index.

Right there with grade 110 were grade 122, falling 0.5 percent, and grade 102, weakening by 0.5 percent.

The cash price of primary Japanese copper, meanwhile, held steady.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndX
Chinese copper closed mixed yesterday. The price of Chinese copper bar weakened by 0.2 percent. The Chinese copper cash price declined 0.2 percent as well, after two days of improvement. The price of Chinese copper wire flattened. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained steady.

On the LME, the 3-month price of copper inched up 0.4 percent to $7,642 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the primary copper cash price increased 0.4 percent to $7,634 per metric ton.

On Nov. 14, 2012, the day’s biggest mover was the copper cash price, which saw a 0.4 percent decline on the LME to $7,606 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the 3-month price of copper declined 0.2 percent to $7,613 per metric ton.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndX
US copper producer prices and the Japanese copper cash price didn’t move yesterday.

Chinese copper bar prices rose 0.3 percent. The cash price of Chinese copper and copper wire prices also increased 0.3 percent. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained steady.

Current Aluminum Price Movements

Following a two-day decline on the LME, the 3-month price of aluminum climbed up 2.1 percent on MetalMiner’s aluminum price index to end at $1,948 per metric ton on Nov. 13, 2012. Following a 2.1 percent rise, the primary aluminum cash price closed on the LME at $1,928 per metric ton.

exact aluminum prices - MetalMiner IndXThe cash price of primary Indian aluminum rose 0.8 percent.

Chinese aluminum closed mixed on Tuesday. The Chinese aluminum cash price finished the market day up 0.3 percent per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet finished the market day up 0.3 percent as well. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap continues hovering in place for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese aluminum bar was unchanged yesterday.

Current Copper Prices Move Up

today's copper prices - MetalMiner IndXThe biggest change on our daily copper price index came for the copper cash price, rising from a two-day slump with a 1.3 percent improvement on the LME to close at $7,635 per metric ton. After falling for two days, the 3-month price of LME copper rose 1.2 percent to $7,626 per metric ton.

The price of US copper producer grades 102, 110 and 122 rose 0.7 percent. For the fifth consecutive day, the Japanese copper cash price held flat.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXChinese copper closed mixed on Tuesday. Chinese copper wire saw its price rise 0.4 percent. Chinese copper bar gained 0.2 percent, and the Chinese copper cash price also finished the market day up 0.2 percent per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained steady.

 

Chinese copper wire saw the biggest price decline on MetalMiner’s daily copper price index, dropping 1.3 percent on Nov. 12, 2012.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXThe price of Chinese copper bar fell 1 percent. The Chinese copper cash price saw a 1 percent decline as well. Closing out a three-day flat streak, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap moved up 0.9 percent.

The prices of US copper producer grades 102, 110 and 122 declined 0.7 percent. The cash price of primary Japanese copper saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row.

The 3-month price of copper saw a 1 percent decline on the LME to $7,536 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the primary copper cash price declined 0.9 percent to $7,540 per metric ton.

Latest Daily Copper Price Report

today's copper prices - MetalMiner IndXUS copper producer prices for grades 102, 110 and 122 saw a 0.7 percent increase on Nov. 11, 2012, making them the biggest copper price movers for the day on MetalMiner’s price index.

For the fifth consecutive day, the cash price of primary Japanese copper held flat.

The price of Chinese copper wire finished the market day up 0.6 percent. The price of Chinese copper bar also increased 0.6 percent. The cash price of Chinese copper rose 0.6 percent also, while Chinese bright copper scrap held its value last Friday.

The cash price of primary copper saw a 0.7 percent decline on the LME to $7,605 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the copper 3-month price declined 0.6 percent to $7,608 per metric ton.

How Did Copper Prices Do Over the Week?

The biggest mover on MetalMiner’s weekly Copper MMI® was the copper cash price, which saw a 2.7 percent decline on the LME to $7,605 per metric ton. This week marked the third in a row of declining prices for the metal. Closing out the third week of declining prices, the 3-month LME price of copper dropped by 2.6 percent on the LME, finishing at $7,608 per metric ton.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXThe price of Chinese copper wire fell 1.3 percent over the past week, the third week in a row of declining prices. The price of Chinese copper bar finished the week down 1.2 percent. The cash price of Chinese copper dropped 1.2 percent this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices. Meanwhile, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap rose 0.5 percent after falling 1.4 percent during the previous week.

For the third week in a row, the price of US copper producer grade 122 dropped, falling 1.9 percent. The price of US copper producer grade 110 also finished the week down 1.9 percent. For the third week in a row, the price of US copper producer grade 102 dropped, falling 1.8 percent.

Prices for Korean copper strip remained constant, while the cash price of primary Japanese copper remained steady from the previous week.

The Copper MMI® collects and weights 12 global copper metal price points to provide a unique view into copper price trends. For more information on the Copper MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

MetalMiner Copper Price Index Nov 2012 chart

today's copper prices - MetalMiner IndXAs a gift to you, our readers, for MetalMiner’s 5th Birthday, we’re offering free current prices for copper forms in this report! Click here to get them, or click on the purple arrow!

The considerable decrease of 3-month LME copper prices led the monthly MetalMiner copper price complex down 4 points to a value of 96 — a 4 percent drop — after October numbers reached 100, the Jan. 1, 2012, baseline. Copper prices have slipped across the board, with the exception of Korean copper strip which rose by more than 5 percent.

“When we see companies like Caterpillar Inc. lay off workers, we know copper may have moved into rough waters from a pricing perspective,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “Caterpillar serves as a bellwether for the economy because mining leads the manufacturing sector…layoffs suggest to us that Caterpillar feels copper has moved into bearish country.”

Stuart Burns recently reported on an HSBC copper analysis, stating the bank sees some price weakness from now into 2013. That post also discussed a copper floor at $6,500 to $7,500 per ton.

Price Drivers of the Copper Index Drop

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