Copper Seen Falling as China May Struggle to Sustain Growth Pace

Copper was seen falling in New York on concern China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, will struggle to sustain its growth pace and U.S. economic reports may weaken the case to expand stimulus.

China’s “golden years” are gone as the world’s second- largest economy slows, leading global iron-ore producer Vale SA said yesterday. Growth in the Asian country reached a three-year low in the second quarter and banks’ bad loans increased for a third straight quarter.

“Base metals should remain hamstrung by near-term China demand worries,” Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) analysts led by Mark Pervan wrote in a report today.

Copper for December delivery fell 0.5 percent to $3.355 a pound by 6:49 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Copper for three- month delivery slipped 0.4 percent to $7,390 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.

“Economic data seems to be weighing on the outlook,” William Adams, an analyst at Basemetals.com in London, wrote in a report. “We are in the middle of the summer lull and the economic outlook remains uncertain.”

Figures due today may show industrial production rose in July in the U.S., the second-largest copper user, and homebuilders’ confidence stabilized this month. The Copper Development Association says construction generates about 40 percent of demand for the metal.

Copper prices this year and in 2013 will be lower than previously projected, according to a government body in Chile, the world’s largest producer of the metal. State copper commission Cochilco lowered its forecast for the metal’s average price this year to $3.52 a pound from $3.85 and trimmed next year’s estimate to $3.48 from $3.75.

Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME declined for a fifth day to 236,375 tons, remaining at the lowest level since June 11, daily exchange figures showed. Orders to remove the metal from warehouses monitored by the London bourse fell for a 16th session in 17 to 33,500 tons.

Zinc, aluminum, nickel, lead and tin declined in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Kolesnikova in London at mkolesnikova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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