Copper Hits Six-Week Low as China Data Weakens Industrial Metal Market


Industrial metal prices, including copper, experienced a decline in London on Tuesday as data from China signaled a slowdown in industrial output growth and property investment.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) dropped 1.2% to $8,191.5 per metric ton, touching its lowest point since June 29.

The possibility of supportive policies preventing excessive declines was highlighted by Amelia Xiao Fu, head of commodity market strategy at Bank of China International. Though Beijing cut key policy rates, analysts suggested further support was necessary to stimulate growth.

The discount for nearby copper delivery against the three-month LME contract reached $55, the highest since May. Weakened U.S. currency bolstered metals’ appeal for buyers with different currencies. U.S. retail sales exceeding expectations in July indicated ongoing economic expansion.

Meanwhile, LME aluminum remained flat at $2,145 per metric ton. With a discount for near-term delivery against the three-month contract reflecting weak demand, hitting its highest level since the 2008 financial crisis.

Other metals tied to growth faced steep declines. With LME nickel hitting its lowest since July 2022 at $19,760 per metric ton. And zinc touching its weakest point since June 6 at $2,305.

Data from LME showed substantial zinc arrivals to warehouses in Singapore. Nickel dropped 1.6% to $19,765 and zinc lost 1.8% to $2,307. While lead increased 1.4% to $2,126 and tin retreated by 0.9% to $25,100.