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Copper price jumps after China cuts scrap imports by 94%

Copper price jumps after China cuts scrap imports by 94%

BEIJING: Investors jumped back into copper on Thursday after reports that top consumer China is slashing import quotas of scrap metal, a bullish development first rumoured last year.

After pulling back over the first three trading days of the year, Comex copper bounced back to just below $3.30 a pound ($7,270 per tonne) in New York, up over 1% from Wednesday’s settlement. While gains were pared by early afternoon volumes were heavy, especially considering not all market participants have returned from year-end holidays, with more than 100,000 lots worth some $8.4 billion traded.

Metalbulletin reports that Beijing cut its quota for the first two batches of 2018 copper scrap imports to 136kt, down a whopping 94.3% compared to 2017. The market data provider said not only were far fewer refiners applying for licences, but those that did saw allocations drop more than 80% below last year’s levels. Investors jumped back into copper on Thursday after reports that top consumer China is slashing import quotas of scrap metal, a bullish development first rumoured last year. After pulling back over the first three trading days of the year, Comex copper bounced back to just below $3.30 a pound ($7,270 per tonne) in New York, up over 1% from Wednesday’s settlement. While gains were pared by early afternoon volumes were heavy, especially considering not all market participants have returned from year-end holidays, with more than 100,000 lots worth some $8.4 billion traded. Metalbulletin reports that Beijing cut its quota for the first two batches of 2018 copper scrap imports to 136kt, down a whopping 94.3% compared to 2017. The market data provider said not only were far fewer refiners applying for licences, but those that did saw allocations drop more than 80% below last year’s levels.