Copper futures prices climbed to their highest in nearly four weeks on supply worries, following a fall in inventories and operations suspension in major producer nations.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed as much as 1.9 per cent to 41,980 yuan ($US5,958.80) a tonne, its highest since March 17.

The contract closed at 41,850 yuan a tonne, up 1.6 per cent.

Copper stocks in warehouses tracked by ShFE fell for the fourth straight week to 317,928 tonnes on Friday, the lowest since the week ended February 28.

Disruptions to operations or logistics due to the pandemic in America and Africa that raised supply concerns and signs of a pick-up in Chinese demand also supported prices.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc said it has suspended operations at its Chino copper mine in New Mexico indefinitely because of the spread of COVID-19 among the site’s workers.

Glencore’s Katanga Mining sent 350 workers to be repatriated this week after the copper and cobalt miner delayed the commissioning of an acid plant in Democratic Republic of Congo.

ShFE aluminium ended down 0.1 per cent to 11,755 yuan a tonne, lead rose 0.9 per cent to 13,945 yuan a tonne, zinc was up 1.0 per cent to 15,735 yuan a tonne and tin jumped 1.2 per cent to 126,990 yuan a tonne.

ShFE nickel fell 0.7 per cent to 96,430 yuan a tonne, snapping a streak of five straight gains, on worries of weaker demand from the stainless steel industry after the European Commission imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on some products from China, Indonesia and Taiwan.

China approved import quotas for another 222,020 tonnes of high-grade copper scrap and 191,100 tonnes of aluminium scrap in 2020, a government notice showed.

The London Metal Exchange is closed for a holiday on Monday and will reopen on Tuesday.

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