METALS-Copper gains on solid China data, lower inventories

(Updates prices)
SINGAPORE, April 15 (Reuters) – Copper prices rose on
Monday, after data from China showed higher unwrought copper
imports in March, while declining inventories, concerns over a
supply deficit and hopes of a resolution to the U.S.-China trade
row also lent support.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose
0.3 percent to $6,500.50 a tonne by 0439 GMT, while the
most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange advanced 0.7 percent to 49,560 yuan
($7,387.75) a tonne by the end of the morning session.
China imported 391,000 tonnes of unwrought copper last
month, up 25.7 percent from the previous month and 26.5 percent
higher than a year earlier, data released on Friday showed.

China’s March copper concentrate imports were also higher
than the year-ago levels, at 1.77 million tonnes, but down from
an unusually strong February.
“This squashed any concerns over soft demand post the
Chinese New Year holiday. Sentiment was further boosted by
strong credit and monetary data,” ANZ said in a note.

FUNDAMENTALS
* LAS BAMBAS: Chinese miner MMG Ltd said that Las
Bambas mine in Peru has progressively restored critical supplies
and increased staffing levels over last week after indigenous
communities ended a more than two-month blockade of a key
highway.
* STOCKS: Copper stocks in LME-approved warehouses fell for
a third straight day, by 2,000 tonnes to 192,425 tonnes,
according to exchange data released on Friday, while copper
inventories in warehouses tracked by the ShFE fell 5 percent
from a week ago to 245,178 tonnes. MCUSTX-TOTAL CU-STX-SGH
* TRADE: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on
Saturday a U.S.-China trade agreement would go “way beyond”
previous efforts to open China’s markets to U.S. companies and
hoped that the two sides were “close to the final round” of
negotiations.
* ARIZONA: Rio Tinto Ltd said it would invest an
extra $302 million to develop its Resolution copper project in
the U.S. state of Arizona, as it looks to expands output to meet
the lucrative market for new energy vehicles.
* ANTO: Copper will face more disruptions this year than in
2018, as labour strife, extreme weather and unexpected project
delays will knock as much as a million tonnes off 2019
production, Chilean miner Antofagasta’s chief executive
said.
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click
or

MARKETS NEWS
* Asian shares neared nine-month highs after Mnuchin’s
comments, while strong Chinese export and bank loan data boosted
confidence in the global economy.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0630 India WPI Inflation YY March
1000 EU Reserve Assets Total March

PRICES
BASE METALS PRICES 0446 GMT
Three month LME copper 6500.5
Most active ShFE copper 49550
Three month LME aluminium 1864
Most active ShFE aluminium 13880
Three month LME zinc 2914.5
Most active ShFE zinc 22515
Three month LME lead 1934
Most active ShFE lead 16385
Three month LME nickel 13000
Most active ShFE nickel 101250
Three month LME tin 20775
Most active ShFE tin 147990

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE
LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 299.69
LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -243.78

LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 -11.95
LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 1294.57
LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 5023.51

($1 = 6.7084 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; additional reporting by Tom Daly in
BEIJING; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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