December 21, 2018 / 5:33 AM / 8 months ago

METALS-LME copper edges higher, but heads for 4th straight weekly fall

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    BEIJING, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Copper edged higher on Friday,
supported by concerns over lower mine output and a report by an
industry study group showing a widening supply deficit.
    The metal has declined 1.6 percent so far this week in
London, in what would be its fourth straight weekly fall, and
lost almost 17 percent in 2018, heading for its worst year since
2015 on fears the U.S.-China trade row will hurt demand.
    "We think markets have focused too much on the demand side
and ignored slower-than-expected mine output growth," Helen Lau,
a metals and mining analyst with Argonaut Securities, wrote in a
    "The outlook for global (copper) mine supply for 4Q18 and
FY19 is quite dull," she said, adding that worker protests at
Codelco's' Chuquicamata mine in Chile may further constrain
output next year.
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange rose by 0.5 percent to $6,031.50 a tonne as of
0716 GMT, reversing Thursday's 0.3 percent dip. 
    * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded February copper contract on
the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.5 percent at
48,410 yuan ($7,021.74) a tonne, snapping a six-session losing
    * COPPER: The global world refined copper market showed a
168,000 tonne deficit in September, compared with a 43,000 tonne
deficit in August, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG)
said in its latest monthly bulletin.
    * CONTRACTS: Chilean state miner Codelco has agreed to sell
France's Nexans, China's Minmetals and U.S.-based
Southwire 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes of copper each from 2019 to
2021 in rolling deals known as "evergreens", sources close to
the matter said.
    * OTHER METALS: Most other base metals made modest gains in
quiet pre-holiday trade, with aluminium closing up 0.7 percent
in Shanghai and rising 0.4 percent in London.
    * ALUMINIUM: China's aluminium producers are set to cut more
than 800,000 tonnes per year of smelting capacity, according to
analysts from Antaike attending a key smelter meeting in the
southern region of Guangxi on Friday.
    * COLUMN: The year that politics broke the metals cycle:
Andy Home
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Global stocks extended a steep sell-off on Friday as the
threat of a U.S. government shutdown and of further hikes in
U.S. borrowing costs sent dismayed investors scurrying for safer
 BASE METALS PRICES                        0720 GMT
 Three month LME copper                      6035.5
 Most active ShFE copper                      48400
 Three month LME aluminium                   1919.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   13755
 Three month LME zinc                          2545
 Most active ShFE zinc                        21090
 Three month LME lead                          1974
 Most active ShFE lead                        18030
 Three month LME nickel                       10885
 Most active ShFE nickel                      89740
 Three month LME tin                          19360
 Most active ShFE tin                        146850
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3     171.38
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3   -1528.58
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3      239.6
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3    1468.02
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3    1701.21
 ($1 = 6.8943 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Subhranshu
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