March 21, 2017 / 11:48 AM / 3 years ago

METALS-Copper hits one-week low as Chile and Indonesia supply woes fade

 (Adds closing prices, details)
    By Maytaal Angel
    LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - 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
of negotiations.
    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)
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