Copper prices rose on Monday, as falling inventories and improved exports in top consumer China balanced out fears of weakening demand from a global recession.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.1% to $7,881.50 a tonne by 0222 GMT, while the most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 1.8% to 60,770 yuan ($8,987.78) a tonne.
LME copper prices have tumbled 27% from their record peak $10,845 a tonne hit in March this year.
China’s copper imports rose 9.3% from a year earlier, official data showed, as the sharp drop in prices triggered buying appetite amid falling domestic inventories.
ShFE copper stockpile have dropped 79% since March to 34,768 tonnes, their lowest levels since Jan. 28.
Red-hot inflation has prompted global central banks to hike interest rates and sparked fears of slowing growth and even a recession.
Companies are bracing a tough second half of the year, cutting jobs and slowing hiring as growth slows, also partly due to an energy crisis in Europe.
However, China’s exports growth unexpectedly picked up speed in July, lifting some worries about metals demand in its biggest market. LME zinc dropped 2.1% to $3,416 a tonne, while lead rose 0.4% to $2,077.50 a tonne and tin advanced 0.4% to $24,550 a tonne.
Copper slips on worries about China’s economy, Taiwan tension
The premium of LME cash lead over the three-month contract rose to $24.75 a tonne, the highest since July 12.
ShFE nickel dropped 2.6% to 169,080 yuan a tonne, aluminium declined 0.5% to 18,335 yuan a tonne, zinc decreased 1.3% to 24,105 yuan a tonne while lead rose 0.5% to 15,260 yuan a tonne.