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China Copper Prices May Witness New Lows in Q4 2013: Barclays

29 Jun

“Our economists have cautioned that implementation of the new government’s agenda of no stimulus, deleveraging and structural reform means there is an increasing downside that China could experience a temporary hard landing in the next three years,” the bank noted.

copper updatesLONDON : Copper prices in China may witness new lows in the fourth quarter of this year on rising copper mine supply, recent liquidity tightening and lower base metals consumption, stated London based Barclays in its recent market analysis.

“Our economists have cautioned that implementation of the new government’s agenda of no stimulus, deleveraging and structural reform means there is an increasing downside that China could experience a temporary hard landing in the next three years,” the bank noted.

In the first quarter of 2013, world copper consumption is estimated to have declined by around 5.3% compared with that in the same period of 2012, according to International Copper Study Group (ICSG). Chinese apparent demand declined by 10% owing to a 46% decline in net imports of refined copper.

Excluding China, year-on-year world copper usage declined by around 1.7%. On a regional basis, usage is estimated to have declined by 7.8% in Africa, 1.8% in the Americas, 7.6% in Asia, 0.2% in Europe, and 14.3% in Oceania.

World mine production is estimated to have increased by almost 11% in the first three months of 2013 year-on-year basis mainly owing to a recovery in production levels from constrained output in early 2012.

Meanwhile, according to ICSG projections for 2013, the global copper market is expected to have a production surplus relative to demand.

World production of refined copper is expected to exceed demand for refined copper by about 415,000 t, as demand will lag behind the growth in production. For 2014, although a recovery in usage is anticipated, a higher surplus is expected with increased output from new and existing mines.

Freeport McMoRan has restarted open pit production at its Grasberg mine in Indonesia, and the company expects underground mining to resume shortly. Furthermore, the labour contract negotiations have yet to be restarted, a process that poses a further risk of disruptions, according to Barclays view.

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China tight manufacturing, interest rates drag Copper down

20 Jun

Rise in interbank rates in Chinese markets to 12% gives out the impression that China is hitting on momentum brakes and provides for assumptions that the economy there is undergoing a deliberate slow down.

MUMBAI: With Chinese manufacturing shrinking at enhanced speed this month as reflected in HSBC-Markit PMI readings, questions are raised on the future prospects of copper.

The PMI reading came at 48.3 well below the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction; of course, below-50 readings are indicative of contraction in the economy.

This, coupled with rise in interbank rates in Chinese markets to 12% gives out the impression that China is hitting on momentum brakes and provides for assumptions that the economy there is undergoing a deliberate slow down.

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The rates climbed as the central bank of China “refrained from using reverse-repurchase agreements to inject cash into the financial system,” as per Bloomberg.

“If market rates remain at such high levels, the only scenario for the Chinese economy is a hard landing,” said Xu Gao, chief economist with Everbright Securities Co. in Beijing to Bloomberg.

“That possibility is growing now — it seems the leadership is deliberately taking a wait-and-see stance to see how low China growth can be,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Barclays in a report said that, “copper dominated by construction and infrastructure spending may be seeing a shift to permanently slower demand growth.”

“Sentiment among traders in China has shifted from short-term bullish to cautious on copper. On the one hand, refined supply remains tight in China due to smelter maintenance and scrap shortage, and physical premiums remained at elevated for domestic spot market and bonded warehouse stocks. On the other hand, LME prices fell sharply on bearish macro developments and failed to rally on supply disruptions which is viewed as a negative for future price action,” Barclays report added.

On the Comex, copper for delivery on July 13 was seen trading at $3.098 a pound, a loss of $0.041 or 1.31% as of 10.33 AM IST.

On the MCX, copper for delivery on June was seen trading down by 0.12% at Rs.407.85 as of 10.33AM IST.