(Adds comment, detail; updates prices)
By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, May 26 London Metal Exchange copper
hovered near its highest in three weeks on Friday, supported by
supply concerns after news of further disruption at Indonesia's
Grasberg, one of world's biggest copper mines.
Freeport McMoRan Inc said on Thursday that mining
and milling rates at its Grasberg mine in Papua, Indonesia have
been affected by an extended strike, and a "large number" of
about 4,000 absentee workers were deemed to have resigned.
"Supply disruptions are an ongoing issue," said analyst Amy
Li of National Australia Bank in Melbourne.
"It's supportive for prices, but should already be priced
in. On the demand side, China is gradually slowing down, and we
haven't seen much from the U.S. - they promised a big
infrastructure package but no details yet."
NAB sees a largely balanced market for 2017 and a small
surplus in 2018, with prices averaging $5,720 a tonne.
* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper traded at
$5,730 a tonne at 0710 GMT, up 0.1 percent after a small gain
the previous session. Prices on Thursday tipped the highest
since May 3 at $5,768.50 and have held in a wider $5,480-$5,800
range since mid-April.
* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange edged up
0.2 percent to 46,000 yuan ($6,708) a tonne as traders closed
out positions ahead of a long weekend.
* HOLIDAYS: The London Metal Exchange and Shanghai Futures
Exchange will be closed on Monday for a long holiday weekend.
* NICKEL: LME nickel was facing a 3-percent weekly
loss, after trade data this week showed that the Philippines is
ramping up ore exports to China, fuelling concerns of
* CHINA CREDIT: China's structural reforms will slow the
pace of its debt build-up but will not be enough to arrest it,
and another credit rating cut for the country is possible down
the road unless it gets its ballooning credit in check,
officials at Moody's said.
* PREMIUMS: China bonded copper premiums jumped $10 to $75,
off the year's lows to the highest since March amid drawdowns
from Chinese exchange inventories. Premiums for zinc to China on
a cost insurance and freight basis rose $5 to $135, the highest
since March 2016. <0#BASEBW-SHMET> <0#BASECIF-SHMET>
* COMING UP: U.S. durable goods for April at 0230 GMT
BASE METALS PRICES 0709 GMT
Three month LME copper 5729.5
Most active ShFE copper 46000
Three month LME aluminium 1963.5
Most active ShFE aluminium 14085
Three month LME zinc 2647
Most active ShFE zinc 22315
Three month LME lead 2110.5
Most active ShFE lead 15980
Three month LME nickel 9065
Most active ShFE nickel 75190
Three month LME tin 20390
Most active ShFE tin 144750
BASE METALS ARBITRAGE
LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 57.01
LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1600.15
LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 428.35
LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -1458.51
LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1458.68
($1 = 6.8577 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and