Copper Gains as Glut Concerns Tempered by Shrinking Stockpiles

  • Glencore’s copper production drops 3 percent in second quarter
  • Aluminum and lead increase as zinc, nickel and tin decline

Copper posted its biggest two-day gain in almost a month as a decline in inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange eased concern about slowing demand.

Stockpiles slipped 0.4 percent to 203,925 metric tons, the lowest since July 5, LME data compiled by Bloomberg show. Orders to withdraw the metal gained for a second day, boosted by withdrawals from warehouses in Singapore.

“Demand in the copper market has been good,” Peter Thomas, a senior vice president at metals broker Zaner Group LLC, said by telephone from Chicago. “We’re seeing product coming out. We’ve had good building numbers here in the U.S. and that helped fuel the gains.”

Copper futures for September delivery advanced 0.9 percent to settle at $2.191 a pound at 1:10 p.m. on the Comex in New York, taking the two-day rally to 1.9 percent, the biggest since July 13.

Glencore Plc’s production of copper declined 3 percent to 368,000 tons in the second quarter, as the commodities trader responded to the rout in prices that eroded profits. The metal has slumped more than 50 percent from a 2011 peak.

A gauge of 18 large industrial metal producers rose 1.1 percent. Glencore, Vale SA, Teck Resources Ltd. and Freeport-McMoran Inc. were among the biggest gainers.

In other metals:

  • Glencore also said Thursday that its zinc output slid 33 percent to 249,400 tons in the second quarter from a year earlier after cutbacks.
  • Glencore’s nickel production gained 18 percent to 29,500 tons in the period.
  • On the LME, copper, aluminum and lead also gained, while zinc, nickel and tin fell.
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