BASIC METALS-Copper remains near $ 10,000 per ton, traders see new comeback

January 13, 2022

LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Copper prices fell on Thursday but hovered near three-month highs after rising sharply the day before amid a depreciating dollar and concerns about tight supplies. * Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 1% at $ 9,967 a tonne as of 1148 GMT, after rising 3.5% in the prior session. * Copper, used in the energy and construction sectors, rose 25% in 2021 and 26% in 2020. Many analysts expect the transition from fossil fuels to electricity to boost demand. * “A new wave of purchases of base metals has started, especially those directly related to the green transition,” said Gianclaudio Torlizzi of consultancy T-Commodity. * “We already had signs of that in less liquid markets like cobalt and lithium, which have exploded more. It was only a matter of time before copper and nickel followed,” he said. * Torlizzi said low inventories, Chinese economic stimulus and limited supply could push copper above last year’s record of $ 10,747.50 a ton and nickel to $ 25,000 a ton, its highest level since 2011. * The US currency has fallen sharply, even against the yuan, making dollar-priced metals cheaper for holders of other currencies. * The central bank of China, the world’s leading metals consumer, is ready to unveil more measures to support economic growth, which is expected to fall to 5.2% this year, according to a Reuters poll. * Copper inventories in warehouses registered in the LME they have fallen to 83,800 tonnes, from more than 250,000 tonnes in August. Copper stocks in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange They are close to their lowest level since 2009 at 29,182 tonnes. * For updated prices of industrial metals: – COPPER – LEAD – TIN – NICKEL – ALUMINUM – ZINC (Report by Peter Hobson; additional report by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)