Copper price hits fresh 14-month high on supply fears, China optimism

Stock image.

Copper jumped to its highest intraday price since January 2023 as the bellwether industrial metal faces rising tighter supply and hopes for a recovery in Chinese demand.

Prices climbed as much as 1.7% to $9484.50 a ton on Monday before paring some of the gains. The metal has rallied about 15% in the last two months.

Disruptions at major mines are forcing smelters to pay historically steep prices to obtain of mined ore, and Chinese plants — which produce more than half the world’s refined copper — are moving closer to implementing a joint output cut in response.

At the same time, investors are becoming more optimistic about the world’s second-largest economy. China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index in March registered the highest reading in a year, the latest positive sign, alongside strong exports and rising consumer prices.

“Last year, rising demand for renewables and EVs in China already offset the slump from the more traditional sectors like the property market,” said Ewa Manthey, a commodities strategist at ING Groep. “We expect this shift in demand drivers to continue this year.”

Chinese copper producers including Yunnan Copper Co. and Jiangxi Copper Co. Class A shares rose on Monday.

Separately, aluminum nickel and zinc all declined in London trading.

(By Jack Ryan)


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