Copper headed for a second weekly decline after imports by China, the biggest user of the metal, fell to the lowest since April 2013.
The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.5 percent to $6,961.25 a metric ton and was at $6,962.50 at 3:26 p.m. in Hong Kong. The metal touched $6,951.75 on Aug. 6, the lowest since June 30. Prices are down 1.4 percent this week.
Unwrought copper and copper products imports totaled 340,000 tons in July, declining for a third month, China’s customs agency said today. The country’s aluminum and aluminum products exports rose to 380,000 tons in July, the highest in three years, customs data showed.
“The drop in China’s copper imports dragged prices lower,” said Hwang Il Doo, a senior metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul.
Copper has declined 5.4 percent this year, the worst performer among the six main metals on the LME. Stockpiles tracked by the exchange fell for a 13th day to 143,700 tons, the lowest since July 2008.
In New York, futures for September lost 0.3 percent to $3.167 a pound. Copper for delivery in October on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.1 percent to close at 49,710 yuan ($8,073) a ton.
On the LME, aluminum, zinc, nickel, tin and lead fell.