Shanghai copper rose to a three-week high and clocked a second straight weekly gain, buoyed by strong import numbers in China and signs that the Sino-US trade deal would be implemented despite the coronavirus disruption.

Copper gained 1.2 per cent in Shanghai over the holiday-shortened week, which had seen the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed on Monday and Tuesday before reopening on Wednesday.

The London Metal Exchange was closed on Friday for the early May bank holiday.

The most-traded June copper contract on the ShFE rose as much as 1.9 per cent to 43,610 yuan ($US6,162.39) a tonne, the highest since April 17, before ending at 43,510 yuan.

China’s imports of unwrought copper rose 4.4 per cent from the previous month to around 460,000 tonnes in April, while copper concentrate imports topped 2 million tonnes.

“Tighter scrap regulations in China, mine supply disruptions in South America and a revival in business activities kept refined copper imports strong,” ANZ said in a note.

China’s Vice Premier Liu He and top US officials agreed during a phone call the two countries will work together to create a favourable environment for implementing the Phase 1 trade deal reached early this year.

Chile’s top copper mines ramped up production in March even as the coronavirus outbreak took hold, boosted by a sharp spike in output from state miner Codelco.

Peruvian miners are set to restart operations in coming days and ramp up to around 80 per cent of normal production levels within a month, a senior official said.

Workers at the Toromocho copper mine in Peru, operated by China’s Chinalco, were given rapid tests for the novel coronavirus after an employee at its processing facility tested positive.

Shanghai zinc climbed for a fifth day, rising as much as 2.3 per cent to 17,950 yuan a tonne, its highest point since February 24 before closing up 1.9 per cent. Aluminium closed down 0.4 per cent after hitting a one-week low of 12,510 yuan a tonne, while nickel ended down 0.1 per cent, lead finished flat and tin added 0.9 per cent.

Copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the ShFE fell for the eighth week in a row, dropping 11.6 per cent to 204,219 tonnes, the exchange said on Friday. Aluminium stocks were down 5.3 per cent at 388,899 tonnes.

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