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METALS-Copper supported by supply disruptions, weak dollar
July 24, 2017 / 10:33 AM / 2 months ago

METALS-Copper supported by supply disruptions, weak dollar

* LME/ShFE arb: tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2

* Hedge funds raise long positions in copper

* Supply disruptions keep copper buoyed (Updates closing prices)

By Zandi Shabalala

JOHANNESBURG, July 24 (Reuters) - Copper closed above the psychologically important $6,000 level again on Monday as the dollar hovered near 13-month lows and mine disruptions fuelled concerns about falling supply.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed 0.4 percent higher at $6,027 tonnes. On Friday it had briefly touched $6,051, its highest since March 1.

“Copper is testing that $6,000 level again today but technically the uptrend is still intact,” said Sucden Financial analyst Kash Kamal, adding that the “outlook across the base metals complex is encouraging.”

SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS: Union-represented workers and management at Antofagasta’s Zaldivar copper mine in Chile failed to reach a wage deal last week and they agreed to extend government-mediated talks into this week.

SUPPLY: Disruptions to copper shipments from Canada and Chile have undermined expectations for rising global copper supplies in the second half of the year, cutting the fees that smelters charge miners to process metal.

Capital Economics analyst Caroline Bain said the impact from mine disruptions could be minimal as copper inventories were still high, indicating the market was well supplied.

DOLLAR: The U.S. dollar laboured at a 13-month low against a basket of currencies, making dollar-denominated commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies and potentially boosting demand.

CHINA IMPORTS: Data on Monday showed imports of copper fell 11 percent in June year-on-year to 1,444 tonnes.

INDONESIA STRIKE: An estimated 5,000 workers at the giant Grasberg copper mine operated by Freeport-McMoRan Inc’s Indonesian unit will extend their strike for a fourth month in a dispute over layoffs and employment terms.

HEDGE FUNDS: Hedge funds and money managers increased their net long position in copper by 7,706 lots to 74,233 lots, the highest since February.

PHILIPPINES MINING: Supporting nickel, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday the government would draft a new law for the country’s mining industry, which he said pays too little in tax and not enough to compensate for environmental damage. The country is a major supplier of nickel ore.

INDONESIA NICKEL: Indonesia exported 403,201 tonnes of nickel ore in the first six months of 2017 when a complete ban on exports was lifted.

NICKEL: Nickel closed 2.8 percent higher at $9,758 tonnes.

CUBA MINING: A new lead and zinc mine in northwestern Cuba is on track to start production in October as part of the Caribbean island’s attempt to breathe fresh life into its mining sector.

PRICES: Aluminium fell 0.2 percent to $1,912 a tonne; zinc rose 1.3 percent to $2,788 a tonne; lead added 1 percent to $2,260 and tin slipped 0.4 percent to $20,155 a tonne.

Reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by Adrian Croft and Susan Fenton

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