Copper price rises on China demand optimism

Codelco El Teniente smelter in Chile. (Credit: Consejo Minero)

Copper prices rose for a second straight session on Friday as hopes grew that fresh stimulus measures by China would boost demand amid declining inventories.

Copper for delivery in September rose 2.4% on the Comex market in New York, touching $3.78 per pound ($8,316 per tonne).

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 1.7% to 63,480 yuan ($9,260.66) a tonne by the midday break.

Copper has rebounded by 17% since touching 20-month lows on July 15, but it is still down 25% from a record peak hit in March.

“The new stimulus policies announced by China and the new infrastructure projects that will be coming into the market are expected to boost the demand,” said He Tianyu, a copper demand analyst at CRU Group.

“Also, a major factor is the relatively tight supply in the market and very low inventory.”

China’s unwrought copper imports are up nearly 6% while concentrate shipments are around 7% higher so far this year, encouraged by the fall in price, according to Capital Economics, a London-based research firm. In contrast, cargoes of iron ore, for which China is significantly more reliant on imports than copper, are down 3.5%.  

Stocks of copper in LME registered warehouses fell 1,150 tonnes to their lowest level since June 24 to 122,125 tonnes.

Read more: Two charts show copper price drop may have been overdone  

(With files from Reuters)