Copper Down; CRU Says Too Much Surplus Available

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The copper market’s surplus this year will be almost four times bigger than previously estimated as demand slows in leading consumer China, metals researcher CRU told Bloomberg News last week.

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Production will outpace demand by 140,000 metric tons, Vanessa Davidson, copper group manager at CRU, said in an interview in London. That compares with 36,000 tons projected as of January. The researcher cut its estimate for this year’s global usage by 45,000 tons, citing weaker demand in China.

With a decline of 1.8 percent to JPY 691,000 ($6,764) per metric ton on Friday, March 28, the Japanese copper cash price recorded the biggest decline of the day. The price of US copper producer grade 110 inched up 0.5 percent to $3.73 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 122 increased 0.5 percent to $3.73 per pound. At $3.92, the price of US copper producer grade 102 finished the market day up 0.5 percent per pound.

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Chinese copper closed mixed last Friday. The price of Chinese copper wire increased 0.5 percent to CNY 46,600 ($7,500) per metric ton. Chinese copper bar finished the day up 0.4 percent to CNY 47,420 ($7,632) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price rose 0.4 percent to CNY 47,620 ($7,664) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,130) per metric ton.

On the LME, the copper 3-month price showed little movement last Friday, hovering around $6,550 per metric ton. The primary copper cash price held steady last Friday on the LME, remaining around $6,555 per metric ton.

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