Tags: Copper Hits Record High on Chile Concerns | Data

Copper Hits Record High on Chile Concerns, Data

Monday, 07 Feb 2011 10:55 AM

Copper hit a record on Monday as concerns about supply, especially from top producer Chile, added to a recent stream of positive economic data that boosted the outlook for industrial metals demand.

Tin also hit a record high on worries about supply problems in top exporter Indonesia.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange hit a record at $10,160 and, untraded in rings, was bid at $10,119 from $10,050 at the close on Friday.

"The sentiment is extremely positive for industrial metals. Very positive economic data last week built up momentum, and the outlook for metals demand is looking good," said Gayle Berry, an analyst at Barclays Capital.

"The supply side of the copper market looks extremely constrained this year. A whiff of any further supply constraint can boost the sentiment, and the potential power problems in Chile exacerbated the situation."

Chile, the world's largest copper producer, may face an energy squeeze by as early as midyear because of drought and high demand and could resort to rationing electricity if needed, Energy and Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said on Thursday.

"The market is mainly driven by funds at the moment. Demand in China is quiet, but funds continue to buy," an LME ring trader said. "There are also some concerns that the cyclone in Australia may cut supply."

Xstrata Plc restarted its 300,000-tonne-per-year Townsville copper refinery in Australia, which was shut last week due to Cyclone Yasi, the company said.

Supply constraints were also driving the tin price higher.

The metal used in electrical solder hit an all-time high at $31,395 a tonne after Indonesia's state-owned PT Timah, the world's largest integrated tin miner, said refined production fell 10 percent last year.

"The news has certainly helped to compound a very bullish supply-side story. is a very large supplier and that helped propel tin prices this morning," Berry added.

The Indonesian government will restrict annual tin output to a maximum of 100,000 tonnes if record high prices trigger a scramble for the metal, a senior mining official said on Jan. 28.

Three-month tin on the London Metal Exchange, untraded in rings, was bid at $31,275 from $31,200 at the close on Friday.

FALLING STOCKS

Falling copper inventories also helped support prices. Stocks in LME warehouses fell 625 tonnes to 393,525 tonnes, data showed on Monday. Copper stocks had risen by over 40,000 tonnes since Dec. 8, raising some concerns about demand.

Still, stocks are down dramatically since they touched a 6-1/2 year high in mid-February at 555,075 tonnes.

Aluminum stocks increased by 31,650 tonnes to reach 4,562,625 tonnes, the highest level since May 2010, the latest data showed.

"A pick-up in cancelled warrants, i.e. inventories earmarked for delivery, in both copper and aluminum suggests that the latest inventory build-up may reverse before long," Credit Suisse said in a note.

Three-month aluminum traded at $2,557 a tonne in rings, from $2,541 a tonne. Zinc traded at $2,528 in rings from $2,506 a tonne. Lead, untraded n rings, was bid at $2,583 from $2,584 a tonne.

Nickel traded at $28,705 in rings from $28,350 a tonne.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Copper hit a record on Monday as concerns about supply, especially from top producer Chile, added to a recent stream of positive economic data that boosted the outlook for industrial metals demand. Tin also hit a record high on worries about supply problems in top exporter...
Copper Hits Record High on Chile Concerns,Data
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