Shanghai Copper Stockpiles Fall 21% as Chinas Demand Picks Up

Shanghai Copper Stockpiles Fall 21% as Chinas Demand Picks Up

Copper stockpiles in Shanghai Futures Exchange warehouses fell 21 percent this week in a sign of sustained demand against tight supplies in the world’s largest copper user. Aluminum inventories rose.

Deliverable stockpiles of the metal fell by 6,488 metric tons to 24,071 tons based on a survey of five warehouses in Shanghai, the exchange said today on its Web site. The inventories are near last year’s low of 22,731 tons reached in the week of Nov. 30.

Global inventories of copper, used to make wires and pipes, have risen 45 percent in the past four months, according to warehouse data from exchanges in London, New York and Shanghai. Still, Shanghai stockpiles have fallen by almost one third in the same period as copper imports in 2006 fell 19 percent.

“ Warehouse stocks are delivered out as supplies are tight in the spot market, resulting in a high premium in cash contracts over futures contracts,” said Wang Zheng, a trader at Shanghai Dalu Futures Co., today.

China’s copper imports in December 2006 surged by 55 percent year-on-year to 101,340 tons, the Beijing-based customs office said yesterday. China’s economy, the world’s fourth- largest, expanded by 10.7 percent in 2006, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing the same day.

Copper for delivery in April on the Shanghai Futures Exchange settled 0.2 percent up at 53,950 yuan ($6,936) a ton today. Metal for immediate delivery in Changjiang, Shanghai’s biggest cash market, traded little changed between 57,150 and 57,450 yuan a ton.

Aluminum stockpiles rose to 38,387 tons from 36,702 tons, based on a survey of 11 warehouses in Shanghai, Guangdong and Wuxi, the exchange said.


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