Copper inches up on tight global supplies, China Covid cases weigh

23rd November 2022

By: Reuters


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Copper ticked up on Wednesday on support from tight global supplies, while steadily rising Covid-19 cases in the world's top metal consumer China continued to weigh on sentiment.

Investors also awaited more clues on US interest rates ahead of the minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting, due at 1900 GMT.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 was up 0.2% at $8 028 a tonne by 0842 GMT, while the most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed day-time trade 0.4% higher at 64 890 yuan a tonne.

"Stock levels are currently very low. Equivalent to, on a global basis, around two days of demand. On an ex-China basis, just under a week's demand," Paul White, secretary general at International Copper Study Group, told the CRU World Copper Conference Asia.

"Normally we would expect stock levels to be around a month of demand."

The low inventories in China drove prices of refined copper up 144 yuan to 65 214 yuan a tonne on Wednesday, according to information provider Mysteel.

China reported 29,157 new COVID-19 infections for Nov. 22, a new high in more than seven months. Large cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have tightened prevention measures, fanning worries about the impact on the world's second-largest economy. 

Some Chinese copper smelters are meeting miners in Singapore to discuss 2023 copper concentrate treatment and refining charges.

Freeport-McMoRan expected difficult negotiations with Chinese smelters amid market uncertainties and a potential surplus.

Edited by Reuters



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