Copper price up despite China demand concerns

Copper smelter. Stock image.

The copper price rose on Monday despite lingering demand concerns in top consumer China.

Copper for delivery in May rose 2.3% from Friday’s settlement price, touching $4.790 per pound ($10,538 per tonne).

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

Trading was sluggish as Chinese financial markets were closed for a public holiday, but traders kept a wary eye on the country’s covid-19 lockdowns and their impact on economic output and overall demand.

“The lockdown in China “has already led to a slowdown in the domestic movement of base metals, (and) as a result, production cuts at metal fabricators have also been implemented,” commodity strategists at ANZ said in a note.

Meanwhile, Peru, the world’s second largest copper supplier, will target the “excess profits” that mining companies have earned from rising metal prices around the world, Economy and Finance Minister Oscar Graham told Reuters in an interview late Friday.

The country will focus on surplus profits, potentially through an “adjustment” to taxes, Graham said.

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo pledged to raise taxes on the mining sector when he came to office last year. His current plan, however, is much less ambitious than initially promised after it faced resistance from miners and a split Congress.

(With files from Reuters and Bloomberg)