Copper prices dipped on Wednesday as supply fears eased after a leading Chilean producer averted a labour strike, and as demand remained depressed amid the Sino-U.S. trade war.
Antofagasta Minerals, one of the world’s top copper producers, reached a labour agreement with a union of supervisors at its flagship Los Pelambres mine, including a salary hike, bonus and loan incentives for workers.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 0.4% to $5,748.50 a tonne as of 0700 GMT, while Shanghai Futures Exchange’s (ShFE) most-traded copper contract ended 0.4% lower to 46,750 yuan ($6,591.47) a tonne.
Demand for the red metal remained subdued amid the ongoing trade war between the world’s two biggest economies and also major copper users. The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday that the U.S.-China trade war will cut 2019 global growth to its slowest pace since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, while a Reuters poll saw China’s growth slowing to a near 30-year low this year.
* WINTER CUTS: China’s northern cities will be required to cut emissions of dangerous PM2.5 particles as part of the country’s anti-pollution plan for winter.
* HONGQIAO: Top aluminium producer China Hongqiao Group has agreed to set up a “green aluminium” industrial park in China’s Yunnan province.
* CHINA COPPER: Fitch Solutions forecasted China’s copper output growth rate during 2019-2028 to slow to an annual average of 1.9%, from an average rate of 4.8% in the previous decade, due to declining copper ore grades in the country.
“China will ramp up overseas copper investment in the coming years as the nation’s domestic copper production capacity fails to meet internal domestic consumption levels,” Fitch Solutions said in a report.
* COPPER: Australia’s OceanGold Corp lowered its 2019 copper output target to 10,000-11,000 tonnes, from 14,000-15,000 tonnes previously, after suspending a mine in the Philippines.
* ZINC: LME zinc fell 0.4%, after hitting its highest in two-and-a-half months in the previous session amid low inventories caused by a bottle-neck issue at the smelting stage and exacerbated by recent smelter outages.
* NICKEL: Shanghai nickel dropped to as low as 131,750 yuan a tonne, its lowest since Aug. 30, amid weak demand from both the stainless steel and electric-vehicle sectors.
* PRICES: LME nickel fell 0.6%, lead eased 0.1% and tin advanced 0.5%. Shanghai aluminium rose 0.6%, zinc fell 0.4%, and tin climbed 1.3%.