Copper Drops as China Demand May Be Weaker Than Expected

Copper declined on concern that demand from China, the biggest user, will weaken after the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast on the nation’s growth. Zinc, lead, tin and nickel also dropped.

Metal for delivery in three months fell as much as 1.5 percent to $7,193 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $7,212 at 3:09 p.m. in Shanghai. Copper for delivery in August on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 1.3 percent down at 52,230 yuan ($8,461) a ton.

The IMF trimmed its forecast for China’s 2013 growth to 8 percent from 8.2 percent after World Bank cut the forecast to 8.3 percent on April 15. New loans may be 800 billion yuan this month, the China Securities Journal reported today, citing Shenyin & Wanguo Securities Co. That compares with 1.06 trillion yuan new lending in March. New-home sales in Beijing fell 37 percent in April 8-14 from March, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the city’s housing development commission.

“Economic uncertainties and expectations for a surplus in the second half led to weaker restocking than usual,” Janet Kong, an analyst at China International Capital Corp., said in a research report today. “It’s fairly difficult to see the price rebounding to the high in February.”

CICC lowered its average copper price forecast this year to $7,600 a ton from $7,910.

Copper for delivery in July on the Comex lost 1.6 percent to $3.2705 a pound.

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