|21 November, 2019

Copper falls as U.S.-China trade deal remains elusive

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped 0.5% to $5,845.50 a tonne

Copper rods are seen at Truong Phu cable factory in northern Hai Duong province, outside Hanoi, Vietnam August 11, 2017. Image used for illustrative purposes

Copper rods are seen at Truong Phu cable factory in northern Hai Duong province, outside Hanoi, Vietnam August 11, 2017. Image used for illustrative purposes

REUTERS/Kham/File Photo

MANILA  - Copper prices dropped on Thursday, after touching a one-week high in the previous session, as U.S. legislation supporting protests in Hong Kong added to concerns over a possible further delay in a trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped 0.5% to $5,845.50 a tonne by 0704 GMT. The most-active copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange virtually flat at 47,110 yuan ($6,691.95) a tonne, after falling 0.3% earlier in the session.

Completion of a "phase one" U.S.-China trade deal could slide into next year, trade experts and people close to the White House said, as Beijing presses for more extensive tariff rollbacks while Washington counters with heightened demands of its own.

Officials from Beijing had earlier suggested that Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump might sign a deal by early-December.

Possibly complicating the trade negotiations further, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed two bills to back protesters in Hong Kong and send a warning to China about human rights, which the Senate passed the day before, angering Beijing.

"The Congressional vote on the HK protesters doesn't help get a trade deal done admittedly," said Robert Carnell, head of research, Asia-Pacific, at ING.

COPPER WEEK: Miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc and two large Chinese copper smelters - Jiangxi Copper and Tongling Nonferrous Metals 000630.SZ - on Thursday agreed to a 23% cut in annual treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) for 2020, pushing the industry benchmark to a nine-year low.

GREEN ALUMINIUM: The London Metal Exchange is considering creating a new market for "green" aluminium, using warehouse ownership documents to identify low-carbon material instead of spinning off a new futures contract.

COPPER SUPPLY: The global world refined copper market showed a surplus of 29,000 tonnes in August, compared with 71,000 tonnes deficit in July, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said in its latest monthly bulletin.

HUAWEI: The Trump administration on Wednesday gave Huawei its second reprieve this week, allowing some suppliers to restart sales to the Chinese telecoms giant after it was placed on a trade black list over national security concerns six months ago.

ING's Carnell said allowing U.S. companies to do business with Huawei, and reports that Trump was looking to exempt Apple from tariffs "could be the answer from the U.S. to China's request to roll tariffs back to the situation in May".

"But we do not expect China will accept these as a replacement for lifting tariffs, as these company level exemptions will not be written as a clause in any trade agreement," Carnell said.

ALUMINIUM OUTPUT: Global primary aluminium output rose to 5.392 million tonnes in October from revised 5.222 million tonnes in September, data from the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) showed.

LME PRICES: Aluminium CMAL3 was up 0.2% and tin CMSN3 jumped 1.6%, while zinc CMZN3 lost 0.1%, lead CMPB3 slipped 0.3% and nickel CMNI3 edged down 0.1%

ShFE PRICES: Aluminium SAFcv1 closed up 0.8% while tin SSNcv1 rose 2.2%, but zinc SZNcv1 fell 1.4%, nickel SNIcv1 lost 0.9% and lead SPBcv1 slipped 0.8%.

PRICES

Three month LME copper CMCU3

Most active ShFE copper SCFcv1

Three month LME aluminium CMAL3

Most active ShFE aluminium SAFcv1

Three month LME zinc CMZN3

Most active ShFE zinc SZNcv1

Three month LME lead CMPB3

Most active ShFE lead SPBcv1

Three month LME nickel CMNI3

Most active ShFE nickel SNIcv1

Three month LME tin CMSN3

Most active ShFE tin SSNcv1

ARBS

LMESHFCUc3

LMESHFALc3

LMESHFZNc3

LMESHFPBc3

LMESHFNIc3

($1 = 7.0398 yuan)

(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Shailesh Kuber) ((enrico.delacruz@tr.com; +632 841-8934;))

More From Commodities