Jiangxi Copper Says First-Half Profit Drops on Slowing Economy

Jiangxi Copper Co., China’s biggest smelter, reported a 17 percent fall in first-half profit as a slowdown in the world’s biggest buyer of metals curbed demand and sent prices skidding to six-year lows.

Net income declined to 1.06 billion yuan ($165 million) from 1.27 billion yuan, Jiangxi Copper said in a statement. Sales fell 19 percent to 75.5 billion yuan under Chinese accounting standards.

“Prices of company’s main line of products including copper, gold, silver dropped largely amid weak economy, strong dollar and slowing consumption, putting huge pressure on company’s production and operations,” the world’s fifth-biggest smelter said.

China’s economy is poised to grow 6.9 percent this year, the slowest pace for a decade. Deepening concerns over the state of the world’s second-biggest economy have led a global sell-off in riskier assets, which intensified this week as commodities prices sank to a 16-year low.

Copper traded on the London Metal Exchange has fallen almost 30 percent in the past year and touched its lowest price since 2009 on Monday after Chinese equities plunged. It also hit a six-year low in January.

Earlier Tuesday, Antofagasta Plc, the copper miner controlled by Chile’s Luksic family, reported a 31 percent drop in first-half revenue, and mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. said full-year profit plunged 52 percent as commodity prices tumbled on China concerns.

Jiangxi Copper fell 1.8 percent to close at HK$9.24 today in Hong Kong before its earnings announcement. The stock has declined 36 percent in the past year, compared with the 15 percent drop in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

The company may cut output amid falling prices, Board Secretary Huang Dongfeng said earlier Tuesday.

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