High-cost copper miners face a stark choice between cutting production and sustaining losses for the first time in a decade following last month’s sharp fall in copper prices, according to the Financial Times. The FT reported that, at current prices, analysts estimate that miners responsible for 10 percent of global production are losing money.
The cash price of primary copper saw the biggest decline of the day, dropping 1.6 percent on the LME to close at $6,606 per metric ton on Friday, April 4. The 3-month price of copper weakened by 1.4 percent on the LME, settling at $6,610 per metric ton.
The price of US copper producer grade 122 closed at $3.74 per pound. Following a couple days of improvement, the metal’s price weakened by 0.5 percent. Following two days of rising prices, the price of US copper producer grade 110 dropped 0.5 percent to $3.74 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 changed direction with a 0.5 percent drop. After two days of improving prices, the metal finished at $3.93 per pound. The Japanese copper cash price rose 0.4 percent to JPY 722,000 ($6,948) per metric ton.
Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. Chinese copper wire finished the day up 0.9 percent to CNY 47,305 ($7,617) per metric ton. Chinese copper bar prices inched up 0.8 percent to CNY 48,230 ($7,766) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price increased 0.8 percent to CNY 48,430 ($7,798) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap was unchanged at CNY 44,300 ($7,133) per metric ton.