(Adds closing prices, details)
By Maytaal Angel
LONDON, March 21 Copper hit a one-week low on
Tuesday as talks to resolve a strike at the world's biggest
copper mine in Chile were set to resume and production at
another huge mine in Indonesia restarted.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended
down 1.8 percent at $5,776 a tonne, more than erasing the
previous session's 0.9 percent gain. The metal had earlier
touched $5,761, its lowest since March 14.
"Once (the strikes) are over, there could be quite a sharp
fall in prices given demand seems quite subdued," said Caroline
Bain, senior commodities economist at Capital Economics.
"China is growing reasonably strongly, but this is as good
as it gets and we will be slowing over the course of the year."
* RESUMPTIONS: The union representing striking workers at
BHP Billiton's Escondida mine in Chile said it
was open to further conversations that could lead to a reopening
Freeport-McMoRan's Indonesian operation has resumed
copper concentrate production at its Grasberg mine, ending a
stoppage of more than a month.
* SPREADS: Cash copper was trading at a discount of $27 a
tonne to the three-month price CMCU0-3, its weakest since
mid-January and indicating ample supply.
* ZINC: Peruvian zinc and silver miner Volcan
declared force majeure on its mineral deliveries after heavy
flooding disrupted transportation from the country's central
region to the Pacific coast.
* SUPPLY: Peru's copper production rose 24.8 percent in
January from the same month a year earlier while zinc output
increased 11.3 percent.
* PRICES: Zinc ended down 1.2 percent at $2,829 as
the market consolidated this year's strong gains, while sister
metal lead closed flat at $2,273.
* STOCKS: Trade houses plan to place orders for large
amounts of lead to leave LME warehouses in the next few days as
they scramble for supply, a source said. Cash lead is trading at
a discount of $6 a tonne versus the three-month price CMPB0-3
compared with a discount of $18 a tonne last week.
* PRICES: Nickel ended down 0.1 percent at $10,160,
tin rose 0.3 percent to $20,400, having earlier hit its
highest since late January. Aluminium climbed 0.3
percent to $1,927, having earlier hit its highest since early
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click
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
($1 = 6.8989 Chinese yuan)
(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by David
Goodman and David Clarke)