Copper Back to Customary Declines, Consumers Pull Back

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Copper prices neared $7,000 per ton late last week on the London Metal Exchange, clawing back 10% from March as a stockpiles fell and tight supply from China created a mini-rally. But those gains have sputtered out this week as consumers have decided to wait for prices to fall again.

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On Wednesday, May 21, the day’s biggest mover was the price of Chinese copper wire, which saw a 1.4 percent decline to CNY 49,905 ($8,000) per metric ton. Chinese copper bar ended the day at CNY 50,850 ($8,152) per metric ton, after the 1.3 percent drop on Wednesday. The cash price of Chinese copper weakened by 1.3 percent, settling at CNY 51,050 ($8,184) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 44,300 ($7,102) per metric ton.

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The Japanese copper cash price is back up, rising by 1.0 percent yesterday to close at JPY 738,000 ($7,287) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 122 fell 0.5 percent to $3.85 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 declined 0.5 percent to $3.85 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 fell 0.5 percent to $4.04 per pound.

The primary copper cash price saw a 1.2 percent decline on the LME to $6,922 per metric ton. The copper 3-month price weakened by 0.8 percent on the LME, settling at $6,884 per metric ton.

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