Copper price: Hedge funds slash bullish bets to 16-month low
On Monday copper for delivery in May declined nearly 1% on the Comex market in New York at $3.1095 per pound or $6,855 a tonne amid a general weakness on commodity and financial markets gripped by uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration's trade policies and the strength of demand from China, the globe's number one metals consumer.
That's a 2.4 billion pound or $7.6 billion decline from record bullish positions held early September last year
Copper is now down 5.8% so far in 2018 and the bellwether metal's dimmer prospects is nowhere more evident than on derivatives markets and the shift in positioning of large-scale derivatives speculators such as hedge funds.
While continuing to add to bullish gold bets, on the copper market hedge funds have slashed long positions – bets on higher prices in future – to the lowest level in 16 months, back when copper was trading around $2.20 a pound ($4,850 a tonne).
According to the CFTC's weekly Commitment of Traders data up to March 6, so-called managed money investors have reduced net longs to below 28,800 HG copper lots, the equivalent of nearly 720 million pounds or 326,000 tonnes worth $2.2 billion at today's prices.
That's a 2.4 billion pound or $7.6 billion decline from record bullish positions held early September last year.
The reduction in bullish positioning on the Comex market has coincided with a huge build-up of warehouse inventories registered with the exchange in the United States. Last week stocks stood at more than 232,000 tonnes, up from below 90,000 tonnes at the start of last year.