Copper edges higher after strong Chinese growth data

Copper edges higher after strong Chinese growth data

Copper edged higher on Tuesday after data revealed faster than expected economic growth in top consumer China while tin rose for a second day on concern over supply from Myanmar.

Benchmark copper CMCU3 on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.2% at $8,980.50 a tonne by 1056 GMT.

The metal used in electrical wiring has fallen from a high of $9,550.50 in January as recovering Chinese demand has been unable to offset weakening economic growth elsewhere.

Tuesday’s data showed that Chinese GDP grew by 4.5% year on year in the first three months of 2023, beating analyst expectations o 4% growth.

But while consumption, services and infrastructure spending perked up, factory output has lagged.

Order levels at Chinese fabricators have fallen in recent weeks, said Dan Smith, head of research at Amalgamated Metal Trading.

“We’re going to have slightly softer demand for the remainder of April and possibly May,” he said, predicting prices could fall towards $8,800.

Benchmark tin on the LME CMSN3 was up 2% at $27,900, having surged 10.1% on Monday after an official of the United Wa State Army, a militia of Myanmar’s Wa ethnic minority, said it would suspend all work from August at mines in areas under its control.

China’s Yunnan Tin 000960.SZ on Tuesday said that a suspension of mining in Myanmar, a major tin producer, could further tighten global supply.

“This rally’s a bit overdone,” said Smith, predicting that prices would ease and questioning whether mining activity in Myanmar would really stop.

LME aluminium CMAL3 was up 1.3% at $2,410 a tonne despite a large inflow of metal into LME-registered warehouses MALSTX-TOTAL and data showing that China’s primary aluminium output rose again in March, albeit at a slower pace than in previous months.

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