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Copper Heads for First Weekly Drop in Three as Supply Increases

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Copper was poised for the first weekly drop in three on speculation production will increase amid slowing demand from China, the world’s biggest user.

Metal for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange dropped 0.3 percent to $6,882.75 a metric ton at 4:19 p.m. in Tokyo, reversing an earlier gain of as much as 0.9 percent. The price has lost 1 percent this week after gaining in the previous two weeks.

Copper mine production may surpass its June estimate of 17.4 million tons and supply may grow almost 2 million tons by the end of 2015, Credit Suisse said today. Anglo American Plc said yesterday its output rose 14 percent to 182,900 tons in the second quarter from a year earlier. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group also posted increased output earlier this week.

“Sentiment weakened as major mining companies reported an increase in production amid concerns about a slowdown in demand from China,” said Tetsu Emori, the chief fund manager at Astmax Asset Management Inc. in Tokyo.

Copper for delivery in November on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 0.3 percent to close at 49,540 yuan ($8,071) a ton. Futures for delivery in September on the Comex fell 0.4 percent to $3.1205 a pound.

In the medium-term, the market should refocus attention to the surplus expected in copper this year after three years of deficits, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. analysts including Mark Pervan wrote in a note today.

On the LME, aluminum, lead, zinc, nickel and tin declined.

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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