Copper Finds Support on Increase China Import
Copper prices have recovered from two-week lows on news that as Chinese imports of the metal rose in August, but worries about an over supplied market and a stronger US dollar have tempered gains.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed up 0.3 per cent at $US5,269 a tonne, after earlier hitting a low of $US5,208.
A rise in China's copper imports, up 12 per cent year-on-year at 262,691 tonnes in August, suggested industrial activity could pick up in the fourth quarter.
But some analysts are not yet convinced.
"The market has too much metal lying around, not enough is being consumed, and until that changes, it's difficult to see why prices shouldn't just be bumping along the bottom," Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.
Three-month aluminium ended down 0.5 per cent at $US1,616 a tonne from $US1,624.
Zinc was down 1.8 per cent at $US1,657 a tonne, while lead gained 0.7 per cent at $US1,706.
Destocking in China and higher Chinese exports are expected to keep prices of lead under pressure.
Tin was little changed at $US15,145 a tonne from $US15,150.
Nickel rose 1.6 per cent to $US9,860 a tonne after data showed China's August refined nickel imports jumped 114.9 per cent to 20,615 tonnes.
The 2016 copper price forecast was lowered from $2.75/lb to $2.50/lb and the 2017 outlook to $3/lb from $3.75/lb.