October 19, 2016 / 10:16 AM / a year ago

METALS-Copper slips as China data fails to inspire

* China industrial output 6.1 pct versus 6.4 pct

* LME copper inventories rise another 2,625 T

* GRAPHIC-2016 metal returns: link.reuters.com/cag37s (Updates with closing prices)

By Jan Harvey

LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Copper slipped on Wednesday as Chinese industrial production data for last month missed forecasts, although news that major producer BHP Billiton had put its 2017 copper output guidance under review underpinned prices.

Data released on Wednesday showed China’s economy grew 6.7 percent in the third quarter, flat from the previous quarter, as increased government spending and a property boom offset stubbornly weak exports. However, September industrial output grew less than expected.

“GDP data looked okay, but the industrial production was a bit softer than consensus, coming in at 6.1 for September versus 6.4,” Citi analyst David Wilson said. “Also there is news out on China’s own projections of metals consumption, which suggest that demand growth rates are going to be softer.”

“The counter side is that you’ve had BHP’s production news,” he added. “So it’s softer on the China news, but there are (other factors).”

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed down 0.2 percent at $4,671 a tonne, after ending the past two sessions little changed. It held above a one-month low of $4,623.25 a tonne touched on Friday.

BHP Billiton , the world’s biggest diversified miner, said on Wednesday its 2017 copper output guidance was under review after a power disruption this month at the Olympic Dam mine.

The Chinese government said in the latest update of its five-year industry plan that China’s base metals consumption is set to slow over the next four years.

In a statement released late on Tuesday, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said it would limit new production capacity expansions in the copper, aluminium, zinc and lead sectors.

Copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses MCU-STOCKS rose another 2,625 tonnes on Tuesday as they continued to recover from last week’s five-week low.

“LME copper stocks rose again today and have had builds in three out of the last four sessions, which could indicate that global demand may be starting to soften,” Hightower said in a report.

Among other metals, nickel closed down 1 percent at $10,310 a tonne, aluminium 0.6 percent lower at $1,631.50 a tonne, and zinc at $2,308 a tonne, up 1 percent.

Lead was untraded at the close, but was last bid up 1.2 percent at $1,997 a tonne. Tin was the biggest gainer of the day, closing up 1.5 percent at $19,925 a tonne.

Output from the Man Maw tin mine in Myanmar, which has disrupted the global market in the metal, is falling sharply and deposits could be depleted in “two to three years”, senior mine officials told Reuters.


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

Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by Mark Potter and David Evans

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