Copper Climbs for First Day in Five on Concern Over Mine Supply

Copper advanced for the first time in five days, rebounding from the lowest level in more than three weeks, on concern that a disruption at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX)’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia will cut output.

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 0.9 percent to $7,223.25 a metric ton and was at $7,181 at 11:06 a.m. in Tokyo. The price touched $7,126.50 yesterday, the lowest since May 16. Metal for delivery in July on the Comex was little changed at $3.2415 a pound.

Freeport may need to declare force majeure on shipments from Grasberg if the world’s second-largest copper mine stays shut for too long, Rozik B. Soetjipto, the president director of the company’s Indonesian unit, said yesterday in a phone interview. Force majeure is a legal clause allowing companies to miss deliveries because of circumstances beyond their control.

“Copper appeared to be finding a floor around the current level with support from supply concern,” said Tetsu Emori, the chief fund manager at Astmax Asset Management Inc. in Tokyo. China, the top consumer, may increase imports in coming months on mine disruptions and short supply of scrap metal, he said.

Operations at Grasberg are shut, except for maintenance, until the government gets the results of an independent probe of an accident at a tunnel that killed 28 people on May 14, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said June 5. Another worker died on June 1 after a separate incident. The halt may cut output by about 680 tons a day, Bloomberg calculations show.

China’s imports of unwrought copper and copper products jumped 21 percent from a month earlier in May, customs figures showed June 8. The Shanghai Futures Exchange is closed today through June 12 for the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

On the LME, aluminum, nickel and zinc climbed, while lead and tin dropped.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jae Hur in Tokyo at jhur1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net

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