Copper prices fell, capping a weekly decline, as increasing inventories tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange signaled ample supplies.
Deliverable stockpiles in July climbed 37 percent to 108,393 metric tons, the biggest gain since February 2012, exchange data showed. In China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals, imports in June fell to a 13-month low amid a probe into holding inventories tied to financing at Qingdao Port.
“All eyes are on those Shanghai stocks,” Tom Power, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The probe in Qingdao could have an impact” on demand, he said.
Copper for delivery in three months fell 0.6 percent to settle at $7,074.50 a ton ($3.21 a pound) at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange.
Orders to remove the metal from warehouses tracked by the LME fell for the seventh straight session to 32,375 tons, the lowest since July 10.
On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery declined 0.5 percent to $3.2145 a pound.
Lead, aluminum, nickel and tin declined in London.