This Morning in Metals: Copper price slips to one-month low

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copper bars

Shawn Hempel/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: the copper price fell to its lowest level in a month; US housing starts ticked up 5.8% in December; and China’s industrial profits rose 4.1% in 2020.

Copper price dips to one-month low

After surging in the second half of 2020, the copper price has slumped thus far in 2021.

The LME three-month copper price closed last week at $7,873 per metric ton, its lowest in a month.

The price had reached as high as $8,160 per metric ton earlier in January.

As we noted last week, the LME average cash copper price jumped 9.8% from November to December.

However, the copper price has not been the only metal to retrace this past month. Aluminum has also slowed down, closing the month at $1,987 per metric ton after reaching $2,068 per metric ton earlier in the month.

Furthermore, the lead price trended flat in January, while the LME three-month zinc price fell by 6.71%.

Amid the bearish notes from other metals, the tin price played a different tune. The LME three-month tin price closed January up 14.16% month over month, settling at $23,140 per metric ton at the end of last week.

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US housing starts rise in December

Speaking of the copper price, copper is used in a variety of applications in homes, from copper wiring to plumbing systems.

US privately owned housing starts rose 5.8% in December from the previous month, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported.

Starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.67 million in December.

The December rate also rose by 5.2% on a year-over-year basis.

Meanwhile, single-family housing starts jumped by 12.0% in December from the previous month.

Chinese industrial profits jump 4.1% in 2020

Chinese industrial profits enjoyed a 4.1% jump in 2020, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported late last week.

Broken down by sector, mining industry profits fell by 31.5%. However, manufacturing industry profits rose by 7.6%.

Of 41 major industries, 26 posted year-over-year profit gains, the National Bureau of Statistics reported.

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