Copper up slightly on Chinese economic growth
Copper prices got a much-needed – but minor – boost on Friday on news of strong economic growth in China made headlines.
The Chinese economy is expanding at an accelerated rate – by 7.8% in Q3 2013 compared with 7.5% in the previous quarter, according to a Bloomberg report.
A recent report by energy and metals analysis firm Wood Mackenzie also forecasts that China will become the world’s main consumer of base metals by 2017. The Asian giant currently accounts for 40% of global copper demand.
In September, Chinese copper imports hit a high for the year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Copper futures rose slightly on Friday – by 0.1% for December delivery. Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.2%, according to Reuters.
But China’s Q3 results didn’t erase all scepticism – there’s some concern that the September boost is only temporary.
Speaking with Reuters, a senior metals analys at UOB Kay Hian Securities in Hong Kong said she hadn’t “really changed [her] bearish view for 2014 and 2015” because she expects “China’s industrial production growth to slow as the growth becomes less investment-driven.”
Meanwhile, many analysts – and companies – are predicting a copper surplus this year and next.