Copper rises as traders assess potential supply disruption


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Copper prices climbed on Thursday, supported by concerns of potential disruptions in producer-countries, although a weak global demand outlook continued to weigh on the metals sector.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange advanced 0.7% to $7,674 a tonne by 0530 GMT, and the most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange increased 0.3% to 61,120 yuan ($8,776.57) a tonne.

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Workers at BHP’s Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, threatened on Wednesday to go on strike.

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo reiterated that the country will stop exporting raw copper, bauxite and tin to help the country jump up the value chain.

LME aluminum was up 1.5% at $2,268.50 a tonne, zinc rose 1.2% to $3,160.50 a tonne and tin climbed 2.2% to $21,300 a tonne.

In the latest round of production cuts, Germany’s Speira said it would slash aluminum output by 50% from October at its Rheinwerk plant because of high power prices.

European smelters are estimated to have cut an annualized 800,000 to 900,000 tonnes of aluminum production since energy prices began to rise last year.

“It’s continued sentiment from yesterday in terms of recent supply disruptions ex-China due to energy crisis,” said analyst Zenon Ho at broker Marex.

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ShFE aluminum advanced 1.2% to 18,515 yuan a tonne, nickel jumped 1.9% to 175,660 yuan a tonne and tin increased 0.8% to 177,390 yuan a tonne.

However, weak global demand outlook continued to weigh on metals prices. LME copper fell 6.5% last week, the steepest decline since the week ended July 25 and price of the metal is still 29% below its record high of $10,845 hit in March.

Global aluminum producers have offered Japanese buyers premiums of $115-$133 per tonne for October-December primary metal shipments, down 10-22% from the current quarter, reflecting weak demand.

“It’s a battle of supply disruption against demand destruction,” said Ho.

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($1 = 6.9640 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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