(Updates prices, adds comment)
By James Regan
SYDNEY, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper futures turned positive on Friday after data showed a jump in imports of the metal into China, the world’s top consumer of the commodity.
China’s unwrought copper imports rose by more than 40 percent in November from the previous month, in a sign that winter production restrictions at the world’s top copper consuming country are driving up shipments of overseas metal.
“It could be buying delayed by China’s holidays in October and that combined with the arbitrage window being open has pushed up ... imports,” said Lachlan Shaw, an analyst for UBS.
“Concerns about China’s pollution controls impacting supply could also be encouraging some stockpiling,” he said.
* SHFE COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended up 0.51 percent at 51,700 yuan ($7,813.92) a tonne.
* REFINED METAL: “The rise backs up our view that a tightening copper-concentrate market is pushing many buyers into the refined metal market to satisfy its copper units,” said ANZ Bank commodities analyst Daniel Hynes.
* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up modestly at $6,598 a tonne at 0700 GMT.
* COPPER CUT: Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, one of China’s top copper smelters, has reduced production by 20-30 percent to comply with winter output restrictions, a company official said on Thursday.
* VALE NICKEL CUT: Brazilian miner Vale SA dialled back its nickel output forecasts for the next five years on Wednesday.
* GRASBERG: A proposed three-way deal between the Indonesian government, Rio Tinto and Freeport-McMoRan Inc to clean up the ownership of the giant Grasberg copper-gold mine looks like one of those rare situations where everybody wins. Except that it isn‘t, writes Reuters columnist Clyde Russell.
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 = 6.6164 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford