March 26, 2019 / 7:25 AM / a year ago

REFILE-METALS-Copper drifts as U.S. economy worries weigh

 (Corrects day in paragraph 1 to Tuesday from Monday)
    By Tom Daly and Melanie Burton
    BEIJING/MELBOURNE, March 26 (Reuters) - Copper prices in
both London and Shanghai exchanges drifted in Asian trade on
Tuesday as fears of a recession in the United States were offset
by a supply disruption at a key copper mine in Peru.
    "So far, the impact on metals is all macro driven, and I
think the market is now looking for a catalyst for its next
move," said analyst Helen Lau of broker Argonaut in Hong Kong. 
    The disruption at MMG's Las Bambas mine may add to
supply concerns because it is one of the world's top copper
mines, she added.
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange slipped 0.2 percent to $6,325.5 a tonne as of
0700 GMT, after closing up 0.4 percent on Monday. The most
traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange
 ended down 0.4 percent at 48,230 yuan ($7,186) a tonne.
    * PERU: Chinese copper miner MMG said it expected to declare
force majeure under sales contracts at its Las Bambas mine in
Peru after a protest from an indigenous community caused a
weeks-long road blockade. Production is expected to be
progressively impacted from later this week, it said.

    * COPPER: Chilean state miner Codelco said on Monday it had
terminated its contract with Canadian company SNC-Lavalin Group
Inc at its Chuquicamata mine in northern Chile,
accusing the engineering firm of failing to comply with its work
commitments at the world's largest open pit mine.
    * SPREADS: Cash copper switched to trading at a discount of
$3 a tonne to the three-month contract CMCU0-3 as of Monday,
having stayed in premium zone since Feb. 15 and peaked at a
premium of $70 on March 5. 
    * OTHER METALS: Shanghai zinc was the top
performer, rising 1.9 percent to close at 22,225 yuan a tonne
amid tightening stocks. In London, zinc, aluminium
 and lead all gained slightly.     
    * ZINC: China's refined zinc imports plunged to a two-year
low of 20,350 tonnes in February, according to customs data, due
to an unfavourable arbitrage between London and Shanghai.
Refined copper cathode imports fell 5.5 percent year-on-year to
213,947 tonnes.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
 BASE METALS PRICES                      0128 GMT
 Three month LME copper                      6339
 Most active ShFE copper                    48330
 Three month LME aluminium                 1888.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                 13635
 Three month LME zinc                        2838
 Most active ShFE zinc                      22035
 Three month LME lead                        2015
 Most active ShFE lead                      16850
 Three month LME nickel                     12930
 Most active ShFE nickel                    99680
 Three month LME tin                        21335
 Most active ShFE tin                      146860
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                           
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3   -944.26
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3  -1018.59
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3   -584.71
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3    687.34
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3  -3111.37
($1 = 6.7112 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly in BEIJING and Melanie Burton in
MELBOURNE, editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu)
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