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METALS-Copper gains on supply risks from Chile, China demand hopes

(Updates prices)

Oct 14 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose in London on Wednesday, as the threat of supply disruptions in top producer Chile and hopes for stronger consumption by leading consumer China supported prices.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange gained 0.8% to $6,742 a tonne by 0705 GMT, while the most-traded November copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged up 0.1% to 51,540 yuan ($7,647.34) a tonne.

Supervisors at Chile’s Escondida mine and mine operator BHP will extend negotiations to stave off a strike at the world’s largest copper deposit. Though the mine could continue to operate even if supervisors walked off the job, a strike could lead to production bottlenecks or slowdowns.

Canada’s Lundin Mining will talk with the Mina union at its Candelaria copper deposit to try and end a strike.

Analysts at ANZ said in a note the ongoing mine-supply issues and strong demand, particularly from China, should boost copper prices.

Meanwhile, CRU copper analyst He Tianyu said physical demand has picked up a little on a month-on-month basis, but it’s still lower year-on-year. He also said that while October demand is supposed to be strong, which isn’t the case yet, demand could gather pace in two weeks.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME aluminium fell 0.4% to $1,850 a tonne and lead declined 0.7% to $1,789 a tonne while in Shanghai, aluminium rose 0.3% to 14,650 yuan a tonne and zinc dropped 1.2% to 19,120 yuan a tonne.

* Chinese domestic aluminium ingot prices SMM-ALU-ING climbed to their highest since Aug. 4 to 14,970 yuan a tonne.

* The difference between the cash aluminium contract on ShFE and LME fell to 615.76 yuan a tonne, its smallest since April 17, deterring traders from importing the metal into China as part of an arbitrage trade.

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