Copper was up a bit Tuesday, but consumer demand in China remained tepid making major producers revise their outlooks for 2015, Reuters reported.
The metal hit its lowest in 4-1/2 years earlier this month and is down some 13% this year on worries the market is heading into a surplus after several years of deficit, and on slowing economic growth in top copper consumer China.
“BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Glencore-Xstrata have all downgraded more or less their copper (output) forecasts at recent investor days, and Barrick is going to shut down the Lumwana mine in Zambia, so in the short term prices will certainly rise,” Deutsche Bank analyst Grant Sporre told Reuters.
The cash price of primary copper saw a 1.5% increase on Monday, December 22, reaching $6,445 per metric ton on the LME and making it the biggest mover for the day. After a 1.2% increase, the copper 3-month price finished the day on the LME at $6,396 per metric ton.
The price of US copper producer grade 122 rose 0.8% on Monday, just off the 30-day low of $3.61 per pound it hit on Friday, December 19. Just off of a 30-day low of $3.61 per pound, the price of US copper producer grade 110 rose 0.8% yesterday. After hitting a 30-day low of $3.80 per pound on Friday, December 19, the price of US copper producer grade 102 rose 0.8% yesterday. The cash price of primary Japanese copper declined 0.6% to JPY 785,000 ($6,568) per metric ton.
Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. Chinese copper bar finished the day up 1.1% to CNY 47,620 ($7,656) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese copper gained 1.1% to finish at CNY 47,820 ($7,688) per metric ton. Chinese copper wire saw its price rise 0.8% to CNY 46,690 ($7,506) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap showed little movement on Monday at CNY 40,200 ($6,463) per metric ton.