Chinese Manufacturing Data Delivers New Blow to Copper

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Copper prices have fallen this week as feeble factory data from China raised concerns about the outlook for demand from the world’s top metals consumer.

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Growth in China’s vast factory sector slackened in August as foreign and domestic demand slowed, stoking speculation that further policy easing would be needed to prevent the economy from stumbling once more.

The Japanese copper cash price rose 0.9 percent on Tuesday, September 2, making it the day’s biggest mover. After two days of falling prices, it closed at JPY 761,000 ($7,293) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 110 showed little movement on Tuesday at $3.84 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 remained essentially flat at $4.03 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 122 held steady on Tuesday, remaining around $3.84 per pound.

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Chinese copper closed mixed on Tuesday. The price of Chinese copper bar declined 0.2 percent to CNY 51,280 ($8,349) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese copper declined 0.2 percent to CNY 51,480 ($8,382) per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper wire saw little movement at CNY 50,395 ($8,205) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap held flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,213) per metric ton.

The 3-month price of copper saw a 0.4 percent decline on the LME to $6,941 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the primary copper cash price fell 0.4 percent to $6,966 per metric ton.

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