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Copper Near Three-Week High After China Data Exceeds Estimates

Copper traded near the highest level in three weeks as China’s export and import growth in April exceeded estimates. Aluminum, tin, zinc and lead also advanced.

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 0.7 percent to $7,315.50 a metric ton and was at $7,290 at 2:27 p.m. in Shanghai. Copper advanced to $7,374 yesterday, the highest since April 15.

China’s total exports rose 14.7 percent last month from a year ago, while imports climbed 16.8 percent, data from the General Administration of Customs showed today. That compared with median forecasts of 9.2 percent and 13 percent, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The nation accounts for more than 40 percent of global copper consumption.

“The headline numbers were good, helping to alleviate concerns over the Chinese economy brought by weak manufacturing data,” said Xiao Jing, an analyst at Beijing Capital Futures.

Inbound shipments of refined copper, alloy and products were 295,799 tons last month, customs data showed today. That was the lowest since June 2011, and was down 7.4 percent from March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Scrap copper imports fell to 340,000 tons from 350,000 tons in the previous month, according to the customs data.

The contract for delivery in September on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 1 percent to 52,720 yuan ($8,582) a ton, while July futures on Comex gained 0.2 percent to $3.3090 per pound.

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