Copper Down Again, Chinese Smelters Cut Exports

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China’s smelters have cut exports of spot refined copper over the past week to sell more in the domestic market where prices have risen, Reuters reported. The drop in exports could mean constrained supplies in the international market, supporting benchmark London Metal Exchange (LME) prices that have fallen more than 8 percent this year due to an expected global surplus.

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The price of Chinese copper wire closed Friday, May 9 at CNY 48,950 ($7,860) per metric ton, halting its three-day flat run with a 1.5 percent drift. The price of Chinese copper bar is back up, rising by 0.9 percent last Friday to close at CNY 50,250 ($8,069) per metric ton. After falling for two days, the Chinese copper cash price rose 0.9 percent to CNY 50,450 ($8,101) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap held steady at CNY 44,300 ($7,113) per metric ton.

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The price of US copper producer grade 122 rose 0.8 percent to $3.78 per pound. After a 0.8 percent increase, the price of US copper producer grade 110 finished the day at $3.78 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 rose 0.8 percent to $3.97 per pound. Following two days of rising prices, the cash price of primary Japanese copper dropped 0.7 percent to JPY 709,000 ($6,979) per metric ton.

On the LME, the primary copper cash price declined 0.7 percent to $6,690 per metric ton. The copper 3-month price weakened by 0.6 percent on the LME, settling at $6,657 per metric ton.

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