Copper price back above $8,000 on China reopening hopes

The copper price jumped on Friday as rumors swirled about China loosening its strict covid-19 measures.

Copper enjoyed one of its best trading days in years surging 7.9% in New York to exchange hands for $3.697 per pound ($8,150 a tonne) in midday trade, a 10-week high for the December Comex contract.

Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices

A former Chinese disease control official on Friday said that China will soon make substantial changes to its covid-19 policy, but did not give the basis for that information.

Other unverified reports emerged this week that China would remove coronavirus curbs.

“Our China economist is very skeptical about these rumors. He reckons that, with the low level of vaccination, the government is not going to move any time soon,” said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics.

Prices were also supported by the latest disruption to mine supply, with the Las Bambas mine in Peru saying on Thursday that it had begun to reduce operations because of recent blockades.

“Chile’s copper output was down 4% in September, so everything on the supply side is really supportive for prices and exchange stocks are also very low,” Bain said.

(With files from Reuters)