China Purchases Glencore Xstrata Copper Mines

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Glencore Xstrata is selling its Las Bambas, Peru, copper mine project to a Chinese consortium for at least $5.85 billion, the Financial Times reported yesterday. The deal underscores China’s continuing commitment to invest in commodities for rapid modernization of their economy and was expected to boost copper and other commodities as well.

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The sale to a consortium led by MMG, a subsidiary of state-owned Minmetals, is one of the largest acquisitions of miningassets by China. Las Bambas is one of the world’s largest mines under construction, expected to supply about 450,000 tons of copper annually.

Chinese copper prices were mixed coming off the news. The price of Chinese copper bar closed Friday at CNY 48,280 ($7,771) per metric ton, halting its two-day flat run with a 0.3 percent decline. After two changeless days, the Chinese copper cash price fell 0.3 percent to CNY 48,480 ($7,803) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire closed 0.2 percent lower at CNY 47,430 ($7,634) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap was unchanged at CNY 44,300 ($7,130) per metric ton.

With a decline of 0.6 percent to JPY 704,000 ($6,943) per metric ton on Friday, April 11, the cash price of Japanese copper recorded the biggest decline of the day. The price of US copper producer grade 110 held steady last Friday, remaining around $3.76 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 held steady around $3.95 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 122 saw little price change last Friday at $3.76 per pound.

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On the LME, the primary copper cash price rose 0.1 percent to $6,637 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the 3-month price of copper showed little movement last Friday, hovering around $6,626 per metric ton.

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