LME Copper Prices Now Their Lowest in 5 Years, No Bottom In Sight

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A slump in copper prices to their lowest in 5 years has pushed as much as a tenth of the world’s miners into the red, but the market may not yet feel enough pain to trigger deep production cuts this time round.

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Prices on the London Metal Exchange pierced below $6,000 per tonne on Monday for the first time since October 2009, as the metal slid along with a relentless decline in oil prices and concerns about a growing metal surplus. Copper’s 16% decline since July is the biggest since 2013.

On Monday, January 12, the day’s biggest mover was the copper 3-month price, which saw a 1.3% decline on the LME to $6,080 per metric ton. Primary cash copper saw its price drop on the LME 1.3% to a 30-day low of $6,151 per metric ton on Monday.

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The price of US copper producer grade 122 fell to a 30-day low at $3.50 per pound after shifting 0.3%. The price of US copper producer grade 110 fell 0.3% to a 30-day low of $3.50 per pound yesterday. After falling 0.3% to $3.69 per pound, the price of US copper producer grade 102 reached a 30-day low. The cash price of primary Japanese copper held steady around JPY 766,000 ($6,480) per metric ton.

Chinese copper closed mixed on Monday. The price of Chinese copper wire declined 0.7% to CNY 44,970 ($7,243) per metric ton. Chinese copper bar prices saw a 0.7% decline to CNY 45,780 ($7,374) per metric ton. The Chinese copper cash price fell 0.7% to CNY 45,980 ($7,406) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 40,100 ($6,459) per metric ton.

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