BASIC METALS-Copper falls on market fears about demand and measures from China

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BASIC METALS-Copper falls on market fears about demand and measures from China

By Pratima Desai

LONDON, Jun 14 (Reuters) – Copper was lower on Monday as fears that China, the main consumer, would take steps to curb any further increases in industrial metal prices reinforced the notion that fundamentals outweigh the prices.

* At 0929 GMT, three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.4% at $ 9,960 a tonne. Prices are down nearly 8% since they hit $ 10,747.50 in May and have traded between $ 9,800 and $ 10,000 in the last week.

* “The ‘grand’ opening of economies due to vaccines and the revival story was taken for granted very quickly. Now the market is taking a more sober view of fundamentals,” said Carsten Menke, analyst at Julius Baer.

* “At the same time, we have the Chinese authorities saying that they will crack down on speculation in commodity markets,” he added.

* Clues on Chinese base metal demand will come this week with industrial production data for May. The consensus is of a slowdown in activity.

* China plans to release state reserves of non-ferrous metals, copper, aluminum and zinc in a program that will last until the end of 2021, data provider Shanghai Metal Exchange Market and Chinese analysts said.

* China’s state planner last week renewed its commitment to tighten control of raw material prices, as domestic producer inflation reached its highest level in more than 12 years.

* Copper stocks at LME registered warehouses are at 138,300 tonnes, an increase of 24% from May 12, easing concerns about supplies in the London market.

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