Copper in Shanghai Drops for Second Quarter as Stockpiles Surge

Copper declined in Shanghai, capping a second straight quarterly drop, as stockpiles swelled. Aluminum, zinc and lead also fell.

Copper for delivery in July on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.9 percent to close at 54,830 yuan ($8,830) a metric ton, dropping 5.2 percent this year. The London Metal Exchange and Comex are closed today for a public holiday.

LME copper inventories rose to 569,775 tons, surging 78 percent in the first quarter, according to exchange data released yesterday. That was biggest jump since the third quarter of 2005, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Stockpiles monitored by the SHFE rose to 247,591 tons this week, according data posted on the bourse’s website today. That was the highest level in at least 10 years.

“The huge inventory and lackluster seasonal boom in China are weighing on copper,” Yang Lan, an analyst at Dayou Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “If the March PMI on Monday confirms the improvement shown in the preliminary data, copper may find support at the current level.”

China will release the Purchasing Managers’ Index for March on April 1. A preliminary reading released on March 21 by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics stood at 51.7, compared with a final reading of 50.4 for February.

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