May 23, 2019 / 4:31 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-Copper slides as prolonged U.S.-China trade tension clouds sentiment

(Updates prices, adds details)

By Tom Daly and Mai Nguyen

BEIJING/SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) - Copper prices in both London and Shanghai fell to their multi-month lows on Thursday amid an unresolved Sino-U.S. trade tension and after Chinese President Xi Jinping warned of difficult times ahead.

The U.S. is considering Huawei-like sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision over the country’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, the latest effort by the United States to crack down on Chinese companies as trade friction escalates.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Benchmark copper fell as much as 0.7% to $5,888 a tonne, the lowest since Jan. 14. It bounced back slightly to $5,905.50 a tonne by 0801 GMT.

* SHANGHAI COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended down 1.5% to 46,680 yuan ($6,750.64) a tonne, after touching its lowest since Jan. 15 in early Asian trading hours at 46,550 yuan a tonne.

* CODELCO: Codelco’s giant Chuquicamata mine is set for a 40% drop in production over the next two years, to 459,000 tonnes in 2019 and 277,000 tonnes in 2021, an internal forecast seen by Reuters showed.

* MMG: Chinese miner MMG Ltd’s said on Wednesday operations at its Las Bambas mine in Peru have not been disrupted, after a local community representative told Reuters on Tuesday that they had imposed a new road blockade.

* COPPER SCRAP: China’s imports of copper scrap in April rose 70% from March to 170,000 tonnes while alumina imports doubled to 60,000 tonnes during the same period, Chinese customs data on Thursday showed.

* OTHER METALS: Zinc, used to galvanise steel, fell 1.2% in Shanghai to 20,355 yuan a tonne. Other metals moved mixed in tight ranges.

* NICKEL: The global nickel market deficit widened to 12,500 tonnes in March from a revised shortfall of 1,000 tonnes the previous month, the International Nickel Study Group said.

* TIN SPREAD: The premium of cash tin over the three-month contract CMSN0-3 rose to $295 on Wednesday, its highest in 13 months, signalling a lack of nearby supply.

* PRICES: London tin fell 0.4% while Shanghai tin dipped 0.4%, having touched its lowest since December 2017 in early trade. All other metals except lead fell on both London and Shanghai exchanges.

* EXPLAINER: China’s rare earth supplies could be a vital bargaining chip in the U.S. trade war.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 6.9149 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Richard Pullin and Shreejay Sinha

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