By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, March 23 (Reuters) - London copper crept higher on Thursday, edging away from two-week lows hit the previous session as broader investor sentiment revived, while disruptions piled up in the zinc market.
Supply concerns that have underpinned copper have been exacerbated by floods in Peru, just ahead of the start of the second quarter, seasonally the strongest for demand.
“Probably base metals demand is not in a strong recovery yet, but from the infrastructure sector and the steel industry, orders are looking pretty good,” said Bonnie Liu, general manager at GF Futures in Hong Kong.
“Base metals always lag behind steel so you probably need to wait for a few weeks (to see demand pick up),” she said.
* LME COPPER: LME copper edged up 0.3 percent to $5,825 a tonne at 0525 GMT, adding to a 0.6 percent gain from the previous session when prices plumbed their lowest since March 10 at $5,715 a tonne on signs a strike at the world’s top copper mine may reach a resolution.
* SHANGHAI COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rose 0.5 percent to 47,120 yuan ($6,842) a tonne.
* LME ZINC edged down 0.2 percent to $2,851 a tonne despite a spate of mine disruptions, while LME lead eased 0.3 percent, having rallied more than 4 percent on Wednesday following a large draw in LME stocks.
* CHINA PREMIUMS: Premiums for copper and zinc deliveries in Shanghai fell. Zinc premiums fell $10 to $105-$115, the lowest since August 2015, while Shanghai copper premiums have fallen to around $45, traders and analysts said, the lowest in around a year.
* SHANGHAI STOCKS: Shanghai bonded copper stocks are about 620,000 tonnes, according to CRU, up from around 550,000 tonnes a month ago. Ample stocks, normal for this time of year, were weighing on copper premiums, said Cru analyst Chris Wu.
* ESCONDIDA: Leaders of the striking union at BHP Billiton’s Escondida mine in Chile will meet with the rank-and-file before making more decisions about negotiations.
* PERU: A railway used by copper, zinc and silver mines to transport their concentrates from Peru’s central Andes to port is likely be out of action for at least two to three weeks following damage from floods and mudslides.
* PERU: Brazilian group Votorantim has halted operations at its zinc smelter Cajamarquilla in Peru while miner Milpo , declared force majeure on Wednesday due to the floods.
* ZINC STRIKE: A 3-1/2-week strike at Noranda Income Fund’s zinc processing facility in Quebec is showing no signs of ending, with no talks set between workers and management.
Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminium
Most active ShFE aluminium
Three month LME zinc
Most active ShFE zinc
Three month LME lead
Most active ShFE lead
Three month LME nickel
Most active ShFE nickel
Three month LME tin
Most active ShFE tin
ARBS ($1 = 6.8913 Chinese yuan renminbi) ($1 = 6.8868 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin