Bloomberg News

Copper Drops to Three-Week Low on China Demand, Greek Concerns

July 23, 2012

Copper fell to the lowest level in more than three weeks as industrial metals slid on concerns that demand in China may drop and Greece may exit the euro.

Three-month metal declined as much as 1.2 percent to $7,451.50 a metric ton, the lowest level since June 29, on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $7,453.25 a ton at 2:49 p.m. Shanghai time. November-delivery metal on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 2.6 percent to 54,440 yuan ($8,522) a ton.

“Copper is facing challenges to climb further, given lackluster demand in China and resurfacing concerns over Europe’s debt crisis,” Zhang Yu, an analyst at Yong’an Futures Co., said by phone from Hangzhou.

China’s economic expansion may slow to 7.4 percent this quarter, said Song Guoqing, an academic member of the People’s Bank of China monetary policy committee. Greece’s creditors will arrive in Athens tomorrow amid doubts the country will meet its commitments and reluctance among euro-area states to issue more funds should it fail.

Refined copper imports by China dropped to a ten-month low at 250,097 tons in June, while exports fell to 35,477 tons from 102,375 tons a month earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed today. Arrivals of copper concentrate fell 19 percent from a year ago to 480,680 tons.

September futures on the Comex fell 1.3 percent to $3.404 a pound. Net-short positions, or wagers on falling prices, held by funds were 1,763 futures and options contracts as of July 17, from 4,813 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

On the LME, aluminum, zinc, lead, nickel and tin declined.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Helen Sun in Shanghai at hsun30@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net


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