Copper Gains After Biggest Drop in Two Months on China

Copper rose in London after the biggest fall in two months yesterday as data showed a rebound in imports by China, the biggest metal user.

Refined-copper imports by China last month climbed 8.7 percent from October to 250,666 metric tons, according to data e-mailed by the General Administration of Customs today. Copper production fell short of demand by 55,000 tons in September, bringing the shortage for the year so far to 594,000 tons, the International Copper Study Group said yesterday.

“After yesterday’s drop, today’s price action becomes key,” Justin Froome, a broker at Marex Spectron Group in London, said by e-mail today.

Copper for delivery in three months gained 0.2 percent to $7,783.75 a ton by 10:28 a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Copper declined 3.5 percent this week, while it’s up 2.4 percent this year. Copper for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $3.54 a pound on the Comex in New York.

Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S., the second- biggest copper consumer, climbed to a three-year high in November, as manufacturing in the Philadelphia region unexpectedly expanded in December to an eight-month high, both beating economists’ forecast, reports showed yesterday. The Copper Development Association says construction generates about 40 percent of demand for the metal, used in pipes and wiring.

LME copper stockpiles rose for a 12th day to 312,400 tons, remaining at the highest level since February, data showed today. Inventories gained on deliveries in Busan, South Korea, bringing the advance this month to 26 percent, according to data from the LME today. Orders to take copper from LME warehouses dropped 0.1 percent to 53,225 tons.

Aluminum, nickel, lead, zinc and tin declined in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net

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

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