July 17, 2019 / 11:31 AM / 10 months ago

METALS-Copper tumbles from two-week peak as Trump renews China tariff threat

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Updates with official prices, Zambia copper)

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - Copper retreated from a two-week high on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose further tariffs on China, a move which could dent demand for metals.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed 0.5% lower at $5,980 per tonne, after the metal touched its highest since July 1 in the previous session.

Trump questioned China’s failure to make good on what he saw as its promise to buy more U.S. agricultural goods, and said Washington could impose tariffs on an additional $325 billion worth of Chinese goods if it needed to do so.

The year-long tariff standoff between the world’s two largest economies has sapped metals demand and helped dent growth in top consumer China.

“Trump said there is a long way before the trade deal is sealed and he also spoke about extending tariffs, so that might be factor today,” said BMO Capital Markets analyst Colin Hamilton, adding that prices had “actually held up well despite Trump’s comments”.

Trump’s remarks came after the World Trade Organization (WTO) said the United States did not fully comply with its ruling and could face Chinese sanctions if it does not remove certain tariffs that break WTO rules.

LME STOCKS: Copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses climbed 8,500 tonnes to 276,025 tonnes, the highest since April 2018, suggesting a better supplied market. MCUSTX-TOTAL

CHINA PREMIUMS: Yangshan copper premiums SMM-CUYP-CN, paid on top of LME copper prices to import metal into China, rose to their highest since February at $62.

CONTRACTS: Jiangxi Copper Co and Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group signed a concentrate supply deals with Chilean miner Antofagasta for the first half of 2020.

PERU COPPER: Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra rejected a demand to cancel a permit for Southern Copper Corp’s $1.4 billion Tia Maria copper mine project amid protests from local residents.

ZAMBIA COPPER: Zambia expects nine companies to submit bids for Konkola Copper Mines within weeks, mines minister Richard Musukwa said, even as a court case with Vedanta over its ownership was underway.

TIN: China’s refined tin production fell by roughly 10% in the first half of 2019 to around 75,000 tonnes, data from the Beijing branch of the International Tin Association showed.

CHILE LITHIUM: How lithium-rich Chile botched a plan to attract battery makers.

COLUMN: Nickel is enlivening an otherwise torpid summer for the base metals complex.

PRICES: Aluminium fell 0.2% to $1,847 per tonne, zinc shed 0.3% to $2,474.50, lead added 1% to $2,007, tin fell 0.4% to $17,925, while nickel touched a one year high, up 2.5% at $14,440. (Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in SINGAPORE; editing by Louise Heavens and David Evans)

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