Data on China’s manufacturing sector came out mixed yesterday, but still gave a small boost to the world’s second-largest economy. Beijing’s official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 50.3 in March from 50.2 in February, in line with analyst expectations, but the nation’s largest bank, HSBC, final reading came in at 48, a touch below last week’s preliminary reading of 48.1.
Copper is highly-dependent on the performance of the Chinese economy as so much of it is used as investment collateral by banks and other financial institutions in Shanghai’s warehouse district. China is also the number one consumer of the red metal as it continues to rapidly modernize both buildings and urban infrastructure.
Following a two-day flat streak on the LME, the copper cash price climbed by 1.7 percent to end at $6,666 per metric ton on Monday, March 31. At $6,652, the copper 3-month price finished the market day on the LME up 1.6 percent per metric ton.
The cash price of primary Japanese copper inched up 1.0 percent to JPY 698,000 ($6,782) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 122 rose 0.5 percent to $3.75 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 rose 0.5 percent to $3.75 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 gained 0.5 percent to finish at $3.94 per pound.
Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. After a 0.9 percent increase, Chinese copper bar finished the day at CNY 47,870 ($7,717) per metric ton. After a 0.9 percent increase, the cash price of Chinese copper finished the day at CNY 48,070 ($7,749) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire saw its price rise 0.8 percent to CNY 46,985 ($7,574) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 44,300 ($7,141) per metric ton.