METALS-Copper, aluminium fall as China’s exports slump

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(Recasts throughout, updates prices)

HANOI, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Copper and aluminium prices in both London and Shanghai lost ground on Monday after China reported disappointing export and import data for December.

China’s exports unexpectedly fell the most in two years in December, while imports also contracted, pointing to further weakness in the world’s second-largest economy in 2019 and deteriorating global demand.

“The headline imports and exports numbers are below market expectation by a big margin. The sentiment is not that great,” said analyst Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities, adding that China now might be more willing to make a deal with the United States.

COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange lost 0.6 percent to $5,906 a tonne by 0727 GMT, while the most-traded Shanghai copper contract closed 0.6 percent lower at 46,890 yuan ($6,932.29) a tonne.

CHINA COPPER IMPORTS: China’s 2018 imports of unwrought copper rose 12.9 percent from a year earlier to a record annual high of 5.3 million tonnes.

CHINA ALUMINIUM EXPORTS: China’s aluminium exports in 2018 rose 20.9 percent from a year earlier to a record high, as sanctions by the United States on Russian producer Rusal spurred demand for Chinese metal.

SHANGHAI ALUMINIUM: Shanghai aluminium touched its lowest since September 2016 in early trade but recovered slightly to close 0.7 percent lower at 13,285 yuan a tonne.

OTHER METALS: London nickel decreased 1 percent, while lead was down 0.9 percent after six straight sessions of gains.

CONGO: The surprise outcome of Congo’s election – a vote meant to bring closure to years of turmoil under President Joseph Kabila – has done little to ease uncertainty for miners and investors in a country crucial to the electric vehicle revolution.


Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 6.7640 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Rashmi Aich and Subhranshu Sahu)