June 8, 2018 / 2:34 AM / 10 months ago

METALS-Copper falls after six-day rally, but eyes best week since Feb

 (Adds China data, updates prices)
    By Manolo Serapio Jr
    MANILA, June 8 (Reuters) - London copper retreated on Friday
after a six-day rally that pushed the metal to its strongest in
4-1/2 years in the previous session on worries over potential
supply disruptions, but data showing strong Chinese imports
helped limit losses.
    Copper imports by China, the world's top consumer, climbed
to the highest in 17 months in May.
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
down 1 percent at $7,259 a tonne by 0712 GMT, off a session low
of $7,211. The contract touched $7,348 on Thursday, its loftiest
since January 2014, and has risen 5 percent so far this week,
the most since mid-February.
    The workers' union at the BHP-operated
Escondida copper mine in Chile last week kicked off labor
negotiations with a contract proposal that includes a bonus of
about $34,000 per worker, sparking fears of a possible strike.

    ANZ senior commodity strategist Daniel Hynes said the
Escondida union's bonus proposal compares with BHP's offer of
$21,300, "therefore, both parties reaching a deal looks
difficult at the moment, leaving room for a strike."
    "The union has enough cash to go on a strike of 44 days.
This deal is important for the other wage contract renewals too.
We see prices remaining volatile until they reach an agreement,"
Hynes said in a report this week.
    * CHINA COPPER IMPORTS: China imported 475,000 tonnes of
unwrought copper and copper products last month, customs data
showed, the largest since December 2016. It was the highest May
figure for at least a decade, up 22 percent from the same month
last year and up 8 percent from April.
    * CHINA TRADE: China's overall exports grew 12.6 percent in
May, slightly slower than in April, while imports jumped 26
percent, outpacing market expectations and the fastest pace
since January.
    * SHANGHAI COPPER: The most-traded August copper contract on
the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 0.3 percent to
close at 53,780 yuan ($8,391) a tonne.
    * CHILE OUTPUT: Chile's copper production in April jumped
6.4 percent from the same month a year earlier, Chilean copper
commission Cochilco said, boosted by increased output at large,
privately held mines in the world's top copper producer.

    * DOLLAR: The dollar wallowed near a three-week low against
peers as U.S. Treasury yields fell sharply, while the euro's
recovery remained intact amid expectations that the European
Central Bank would begin unwinding it stimulus programme.
    * TRUMP: Leaders of the Group of Seven rich nations are set
to clash with a combative U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday
when they pressure him to lift sanctions on steel and aluminium
they fear could lead to a trade war.
    * OTHER METALS: Other metals also slipped, with LME lead
 down 1.9 percent at $2,487 a tonne, after hitting a
three-month high on Thursday, and nickel dropping 1.3
percent to $15,320. Shanghai lead fell 1.3 percent to
20,385 yuan a tonne and nickel lost 2.5 percent to
114,900 yuan.
 BASE METALS PRICES                                    0712 GMT
 Three month LME copper                                    7259
 Most active ShFE copper                                  53780
 Three month LME aluminium                                 2302
 Most active ShFE aluminium                               14820
 Three month LME zinc                                    3168.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                                    24440
 Three month LME lead                                      2487
 Most active ShFE lead                                    20385
 Three month LME nickel                                   15320
 Most active ShFE nickel                                 114900
 Three month LME tin                                      21075
 Most active ShFE tin                                    152020
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                         
 LME/SHFE COPPER                   LMESHFCUc3           -450.23
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM                LMESHFALc3          -2273.64
 LME/SHFE ZINC                     LMESHFZNc3            149.74
 LME/SHFE LEAD                     LMESHFPBc3            447.39
 LME/SHFE NICKEL                   LMESHFNIc3           -1453.4
($1 = 6.4089 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; editing by Richard Pullin and
Subhranshu Sahu)
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