As a result of disappointing China’s economic statistics, signals of low demand, and an abundance of supply, copper prices dipped on Thursday, cooling off a recent rally.
In official international trading, Copper on London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 0.45% at $8,200 per tonne.
On Monday, prices soared to a five-month high of $8,600, up 15% from the beginning of November. On expectations that China will ditch its zero-COVID policy and that the rate of increase in U.S. interest rates would drop. Which would boost economic development and metals demand.
However, new home prices in China plummeted at their highest rate in more than 7 years in October. According to statistics released on Thursday.
This data came after disappointing manufacturing data on Tuesday and highlighted the construction sector’s continued deterioration.
China is by far the largest user of metals, and while COVID-19 cases there are on the rise.
There are concerns that further lockdowns could impede economic activity.
As the dollar strengthened against the Chinese yuan, local buyers had to pay more for metals with a dollar price.
Chinese copper imports premiums have decreased from $144.50 per metric tonne last week to $102.50 per metric tonne, indicating a decline in the demand for foreign metal.
Strike at Chile’s Escondida Copper Mine
Additionally, supply appears to be abundant on the LME. Where copper for immediate cash delivery has changed from commanding a premium of more than $100 over metal for delivery in 3 months to a discount of $30.
According to Gianclaudio Torlizzi, a partner at consultancy firm T-Commodity, copper is caught between bulls & bears who both predict a robust demand when China lifts its COVID limitations and bears who see a slack market.
Before the market shows a definite direction, “we need to wait for a few weeks,” he said. “I think it will go higher in that way.”
The workers at Chile’s Escondida, the largest copper mine in the world. Announced a strike on Tuesday, which might benefit copper.
“Only Aluminum prices increased on the LME to 0.17% at $2,409 per tonne”, Zinc were down to 0.72% at $3,034 per tonne, Lead were down to 0.65% at $2,146 per tonne, and tin were down to 1.11% to $23,150 a tonne.