February 28, 2020 / 8:52 AM / 3 months ago

Shanghai copper, zinc inventories near 3-year high as virus hits demand

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Copper and zinc inventories in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) jumped to their highest level in nearly three years on Friday as the coronavirus outbreak hurt demand.

Copper stockpiles rose 4.1% CU-STX-SGH to 310,760 tonnes this week, while zinc inventories ZN-STX-SGH were up 11.8% to 160,011 tonnes, each at their highest level since the week ended April 7, 2017, ShFE weekly data released on Friday showed.

The most traded ShFE zinc contract dropped as much as 5% on Friday, while benchmark three-month zinc on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was heading towards its biggest weekly decline since September 2015, down 6.3% on a weekly basis as of 0806 GMT.

Aluminium inventories in warehouses tracked by ShFE AL-STX-SGH advanced 7.2% to 439,087 tonnes, highest since June 14, 2019, the data showed.

Countries on three continents reported their first cases of the coronavirus on Friday as the world prepared for a pandemic of the disease, pushing global share markets heading for their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

Chinese authorities should take some non-ferrous metals off producers’ own stocks to reduce their pressure as demand for copper and aluminium remains weak, the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said on Thursday, noting that major smelters had managed to maintain “normal production”. (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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