Copper Up After Massive Chilean Earthquake

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The price of copper had a roller-coaster reaction to news of a massive 8.5 earthquake in Chile, where much of South America’s copper is mined. While the quake initially pushed up the three-month copper contract on the London Metal Exchange by more than 1% to $6,728.75 a metric ton, it pulled back later in the day as news became available that most copper mining operations were not affected and closed essentially flat.

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On Tuesday, April 1, the cash price of Japanese copper experienced the biggest change, rising 2.6 percent to JPY 716,000 ($6,937) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 110 closed at $3.74 per pound. Following a couple days of improvement, the metal’s price weakened by 0.3 percent. The price of US copper producer grade 122 declined 0.3 percent to $3.74 per pound, after two days of improvement. Weakening prices followed two days of improvement as the price of US copper producer grade 102 dropped 0.3 percent to $3.93 per pound.

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Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. Chinese copper wire prices rose 0.2 percent to CNY 47,065 ($7,570) per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper bar flattened at CNY 47,870 ($7,699) after two days of improvement. The Chinese copper cash price ended a two-day climb, settling at CNY 48,070 ($7,732) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,125) per metric ton.

The 3-month price of copper remained essentially flat on the LME at $6,652 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the cash price of primary copper showed little movement yesterday, hovering around $6,666 per metric ton.

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