Copper Climbs From Six-Year Low as Rains Disrupt Mining

Updated on

Copper rose from a six-year low after torrential rains in Chile halted work at some of the world’s biggest mines, easing concerns over production surpluses.

Codelco, the largest copper-mining company, evacuated workers from Chuquicamata on Sunday, while its Rodomiro Tomic operation was suspended because of poor visibility and dangerous conditions for trucks, the state-owned firm said. The metal lost 15 percent this year on prospects for rising global output and slower demand in China, the biggest user.

“Disruption of production is price supportive, and copper is taking a breather today,” Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “The main copper story, however, is slowing China demand, and that will continue to weigh on prices.”

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery rose 2.9 percent to settle at $2.40 a pound at 1:28 p.m. Earlier, prices slipped to $2.3075, the lowest for a most-active contract since July 2009.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecasts mine supply will grow 2.3 percent this year and 4.8 percent in 2016.

With China’s economy showing little signs of recovery, money managers are increasing wagers that copper will fall further, pushing their net-short position to the most bearish since April 2013, U.S. government data show.

Copper for delivery in three months rose 2.6 percent to $5,309 a metric ton ($2.41 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange. The metal touched $5,118 earlier Monday, the lowest since 2009.

Nickel, aluminum, lead, zinc and tin gained in London.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE