October 25, 2019 / 5:16 AM / a month ago

METALS-LME copper set for third weekly rise on Chile supply fears

(Updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, Oct 25 (Reuters) - London copper prices edged up on Friday and were set for a third straight weekly gain, buoyed by investor concern over supply disruption in top producer Chile.

The benchmark three-month copper contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.1% to $5,884 a tonne at 0700 GMT and was up 1.3% this week after hitting its highest in more than five weeks in the previous session.

The most traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) closed 0.2% up at 47,390 yuan ($6,704.58) a tonne. The contract rose 1.4% over the week for its first weekly gain in three.

Copper prices have been supported by supply shortage fears after production disruptions at several copper operations in Chile, the world’s biggest producer of the metal, amid nationwide protests.

Prices of the red metals, however, fell throughout most of Asian trading hours before rising at Friday’s Shanghai close on support from lingering worries over the demand outlook.

Copper is often used a gauge of global economic health, which has been hit by an unresolved and prolonged trade war between China and the United States, the world’s two biggest economies.

“Copper is currently traded as a macro,” said one industry source.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER SURPLUS: The copper market is ecpected to be in a surplus of 281,000 tonnes in 2020, swinging from this year’s deficit of 320,000 tonnes, the International Copper Study Group said this week.

* PHILIPPINES COPPER: The Philippines mining regulator has recommended lifting a three-year suspension of the environmental permit for the Tampakan copper-gold project, potentially one of the world’s largest copper mines.

* ZINC: The premium for LME cash zinc over the three-month contract MZN0-3 touched its highest in nearly a month at $41.25 a tonne, indicating tight nearby supplies, while LME on-warrant zinc stocks were at a record low of 35,125 tonnes. MZNSTX-TOTAL

* ZINC DEFICIT: The global zinc market showed a shortfall of 106,000 tonnes over January-July, latest data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group showed.

* NICKEL: China’s nickel ore imports in September rose 24.6% from the previous month to their highest since at least 2016 at 7.13 million tonnes as stockpiling accelerated ahead of a ban on shipments from top miner Indonesia from January 2020.

* INDONESIA NICKEL: Indonesia’s mining ministry has recommended an increase of about 330,000 tonnes in the nickel ore export quota of miner PT Aneka Tambang.

* LME PRICES: LME aluminium fell 0.2% to $1,721.50 a tonne, nickel lost 0.3% to $16,810, zinc rose 0.6% to $2,505 and lead was up 0.3% at $2,232.

* SHFE PRICES: ShFE aluminium eased 0.1% to 13,805 yuan a tonne, nickel was up 1.1% at 133,340 yuan, zinc fell 1% to 18,675 yuan and lead advanced 0.5% to 16,750 yuan.

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PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 7.0683 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen Editing by Rashmi Aich and David Goodman

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