Copper Stockpiles in China Surge to Record as Metal Flows East

  • Shanghai Futures Exchange copper inventories climb 11 percent
  • China has overtaken LME to have world's biggest copper depot

Stockpiles of refined copper in Shanghai extended their advance to a record as the difference between domestic and foreign prices encouraged imports by China, the world’s biggest consumer. Inventories tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange are higher than stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange for the first time in a more than a decade.

Inventories followed by the Shanghai bourse jumped 11 percent this week to a record 305,106 metric tons, equivalent to around two weeks of consumption in China. Reserves in London have declined for 11 days to the lowest level in more than a year.

Copper has gained 4 percent this year in London amid a surge in metals prices on expectations that China may introduce a new round of stimulus to bolster the slowing economy. The metal for three-month delivery rose as much as 1.6 percent to $4,933 a metric ton Friday, heading for an increase of around 4 percent this week, the best such performance since September.

— With assistance by Alfred Cang

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