Freeport Latest to Report Lower Earnings From Falling Copper Prices

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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold said yesterday that first-quarter income fell from a year ago on lower copper prices and because restrictions on concentrate exports from Indonesia meant lower metals sales from operations in the country. Freeport reported first-quarter net income of $510 million, or 49 cents per share, down from $648 million, or 68 cents, in the same quarter a year ago.

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Strengthening prices ended a two-day flat streak as the price of Chinese copper bar moved up by 0.4 percent on Thursday, April 24 to CNY 49,300 ($7,904) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price improved by 0.4 percent, closing at CNY 49,500 ($7,936) per metric ton yesterday. Chinese copper wire gained 0.2 percent to finish at CNY 48,350 ($7,751) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap held flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,102) per metric ton.

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The cash price of primary Japanese copper gained 0.4 percent, finishing at JPY 714,000 ($6,966) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 122 rose 0.3 percent to $3.78 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 inched up 0.3 percent to $3.78 per pound. At $3.97, the price of US copper producer grade 102 finished the market day up 0.3 percent per pound.

On the LME, the copper 3-month price rose 0.2 percent to $6,635 per metric ton. On the tail of a three-day flat streak, the primary copper cash price rose by 0.2 percent on the LME, settling at $6,640 per metric ton.

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