Copper prices fell to their lowest price in more than a week overnight as worries resurfaced about shrinking demand from China and elsewhere because of the coronavirus and as some producers eased lockdown restrictions. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.2 per cent at $US5,120 a tonne at 1547 GMT. Prices of the metal used widely in the power and construction industries had earlier touched their lowest point since April 22 at $US5,060. “The market is acknowledging that it’s going to take a long time to get to a situation where demand growth for metals year on year is flat,” said Citi analyst Max Layton. “In the interim, most metals will see surpluses, while those with supply disruptions will likely outperform.” More than 3.5 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 246,910 have died, a Reuters tally shows. Factory activity was ravaged across the world in April, business surveys showed, and the outlook looked bleak as government lockdowns froze global output and shredded demand. A series of purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) from IHS Markit across Europe and Asia fell deeper into contraction last month, with many diving to record lows and others hitting levels last seen in the 2008-09 financial crisis. “As the global economy looks to escape its current lockdown, May is likely to be a test month; and for that reason, risk appetite is likely to remain muted at best,” Marex Spectron said in a note. “With China having been the recent marginal buyer of base metals, it takes a brave soul to espouse heavily shorting our complex ahead of their trading return on Wednesday.” China’s Labour Day holiday spans May 1-5. Industrial production, investment, construction and loans data for May will be scrutinised closely for clues to demand in China, which accounts for half of global consumption of industrial metals. Expectations of an oversupplied market in the short term can be seen in the discount for cash copper over the three-month contract at $US29 a tonne, compared with $US3 on March 24. Restrictions on key sectors including mining will be reduced gradually in May, Peru’s government said on Sunday. Activity has been paralysed since mid-March. Peru is the world’s second-largest producer of copper and is heavily dependent on the sector for economic growth. Aluminium was down 0.2 per cent at $US1,483 a tonne, zinc slipped 0.6 per cent to $US1,901, lead added 0.2 per cent to $US1,633, tin firmed 0.9 per cent to $US15,140 and nickel was down 1 per cent at $US11,830.