Copper Drops as LME, Comex Warehouse Stockpiles Advance

Copper declined as inventories at London Metal Exchange warehouses climbed to the highest level in 11 months, prompting concerns over the demand.

Metal for delivery in three months on the LME fell as much as 0.3 percent to $8,059.75 a metric ton, before trading little changed at $8,070.75 at 1:44 p.m. in Shanghai. Futures for delivery in April traded little changed at 58,250 yuan ($9,359) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

Stockpiles at the LME warehouses gained 2.5 percent yesterday to 327,375 tons, the highest since Feb. 2 last year, bourse data showed. Those held at warehouses monitored by Comex were at 70,712 tons as of Jan. 7, the highest since May 7, while inventories tallied by the SHFE increased to 206,458 tons last week, the highest in eight months.

“The huge inventories are weighing on copper prices, curbing any rally in spite of a strong expectation of a demand revival,” said Cao Yanghui, an analyst at Nanhua Futures Co. “There is no strong positive news or data right now to drive it higher, and we’ll probably have to wait till March to see whether the consumption can really improve in China.”

Futures for March delivery on the Comex in New York traded little changed at $3.6715 per pound. On the LME, tin and lead declined, while nickel rose.

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