LME copper price sees high last seen in July 2018

LME copper price sees high last seen in July 2018

Copper’s price strengthens on news of U.S. deferral of tariffs hike on China.

February 25, 2019

U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced Sunday, Feb. 24, via Twitter that he would delay a proposed tariff increase on imports of Chinese goods into the U.S. that had been scheduled to go into effect March 2, citing “productive talks” that involved the protection of trade secrets, forced technology transfer and U.S. agricultural sales to China.

Trump had warned that he would increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent March 2 if the two sides failed to reach a deal in trade talks that have been underway. Representatives from the U.S. and China have met twice so far in 2019 to discuss the issue of trade.

In response to the news, the price of copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) Monday, Feb. 25, reached more than $6,500 per metric ton, which, according to a Reuters report, was the first time it had reached such a high since July 2018.

Reuters says LME three-month copper increased 0.6 percent to reach $6,513.50 per metric ton as of 7:17 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time, having earlier reached $6,516.50 per ton, which is the highest price seen since July 4, 2018.

Pricing for copper also increased on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. “The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose as much as 1.8 percent to its highest since Dec. 3 before closing up 1.6 percent at 50,520 yuan ($7,551.34)” per metric ton, Reuters reports.

Despite the gain in pricing, the news service adds that Broker Jinrui Futures says “current fundamentals did not provide strong support to prices,” adding, "The key to a sustained market rally is a recovery in demand.” The broker says improved demand was expected after the end of the off-season, however.