Economic Data From China, Japan Batters Copper

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Chinese industrial output expanded 9 percent in July, less than the 9.2 percent estimate from economists in a Bloomberg survey, Chinese statistics showed today. The country’s broadest measure of credit slumped to the lowest since the global financial crisis. In Japan, the economy contracted the most since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

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This is bad news for copper, as concern about the outlook and demand for it in the biggest consumer of the metal, China, caused prices to slump today.

The day’s biggest mover was Chinese copper bar, dropping 0.7 percent to settle at CNY 50,980 ($8,285) per metric ton on Tuesday, August 12. The Chinese copper cash price saw a 0.7 percent decline to CNY 51,180 ($8,317) per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper wire saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 50,395 ($8,190) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,199) per metric ton.

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The cash price of primary Japanese copper fell 0.1 percent to JPY 748,000 ($7,318) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 122 held steady around $3.87 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 held steady around $4.06 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 remained essentially flat at $3.87 per pound.

The cash price of primary copper weakened by 0.1 percent on the LME, settling at $7,010 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the copper 3-month price saw little movement yesterday at $7,001 per metric ton.

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