Copper Down on the LME After Rally, Chinese Liquidity Still the Culprit

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After a few days of rebounding prices, copper fell on the LME Wednesday, losing much of its previous gains and further fueling fears that surplus copper held in China will keep prices low for much of 2014. China is not only the world’s largest consumer of the red metal, but estimates have fluctuated wildly about just how much of it is being housed in the Shanghai Warehouse District as investment collateral by banks and financial institutions.

Dropping 0.5 percent on the LME, the copper cash price was the biggest mover on Wednesday, April 2, closing at $6,632 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the copper 3-month price fell 0.4 percent to $6,627 per metric ton.

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At $3.75, the price of US copper producer grade 122 finished the market day up 0.3 percent per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 rose 0.3 percent to $3.75 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 rose 0.3 percent to $3.94 per pound. After improving for two days, the Japanese copper cash price declined 0.1 percent to JPY 715,000 ($6,899) per metric ton.

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Chinese copper closed mixed yesterday. After a 0.3 percent increase, Chinese copper bar finished the day at CNY 48,000 ($7,732) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese copper increased 0.3 percent to CNY 48,200 ($7,764) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire saw its price rise 0.2 percent to CNY 47,175 ($7,599) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap held flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,136) per metric ton.

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