Company News

METALS-London copper hits four-week high as mines halt operations to contain virus

 (Updates prices)
    By Mai Nguyen
    SINGAPORE, April 14 (Reuters) - Copper prices advanced on
Tuesday, with London copper touching a four-week high, as more
coronavirus-related mining disruptions in key producing
countries sparked global supply concerns. 
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME)
        climbed as much as 3.6% to $5,200 a tonne, its highest
since March 17. The contract was up 3.1% at $5,175 a tonne by
0705 GMT.
    The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange (ShFE)          closed up 0.1% to 41,750 yuan
($5,921.40) a tonne, its highest close since March 17.
    Peru's Antamina copper mine, controlled by BHP          and
Glencore         , said it would halt all operations for at
least two weeks to fight the coronavirus pandemic, while miner
Freeport-McMoRan         said it was conducting limited
operations at the Cerro Verde copper mine, also in Peru.
    "As Peruvian copper mines joined the rest of the world to
suspend production, the supply risks have strengthened," said
analyst Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities in a note, adding
around a third of China's feedstock for smelting activities are
    Lau said any disruption to mine production in Peru and
Chile, the world's top two copper producers, would have a severe
impact on China's smelting output.
    Peru extended a state of emergency to contain the spread of
the coronavirus, while there were disruptions in other parts of
the Americas and Africa as well.                          
    * TC/RC: Asian Metal data showed spot copper treatment
charges AM-CN-CUCONC, or fees that miners pay smelters to
process concentrate into refined metal, were at $61.50 a tonne,
the lowest since Feb. 7, reflecting tighter concentrate supply. 
    * CHINA COPPER: China's unwrought copper imports in March
rose 13% from a year ago, customs data showed, as dwindling
scrap supply increased demand for other forms of the metal and
factories restarted as coronavirus containment efforts eased.
    * TIN: LME tin        climbed 2.2% to $15,920 after top tin
exporter Indonesia reported a slump in exports of the metal in
March, down 20.9% from a year earlier to 4,539.19 tonnes.
[            ]
    * OTHER METALS: LME aluminium         rose 1.3% to $1,499 a
tonne, nickel         advanced 1.4% to $11,840 a tonne, while
ShFE aluminium          dipped 0.1% to 11,770 yuan a tonne.
Nickel          was up 0.3% to 97,160 yuan a tonne. 
    * For top stories in metals and other news, click on       
    ($1 = 7.0507 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen
Additional reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing
Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and David Holmes)