* Goldman Sachs expects copper market to tighten
* Reiterates call for $6,200 copper in three months
* Coming up: U.S. industrial production for Feb at 1315 GMT
(Adds detail; updates prices)
By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, March 17 London copper slipped on
Friday, but remained on course to mark its biggest weekly
advance since mid-February on a weaker dollar and ongoing mine
The dollar held around a five-week low against a basket of
currencies after the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday signalled
a slower pace of monetary tightening. A softer dollar boosts the
buying power of those paying for commodities in other
"Base metals were broadly ... supported by the weaker USD
and positive fundamentals. Supply side issues continue to
support copper prices," ANZ said in a report.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
slipped 0.5 percent to $5,882 a tonne by 0704 GMT, following a
0.7-percent gain in the previous session.
Price on Thursday reached $5,948.50, the strongest since
March 6 and was set for a gain of around 3 percent for the week.
Shanghai Futures Exchange copper edged down 0.5
percent to 47,740 yuan ($6,916) a tonne.
Striking workers at BHP Billiton's
Escondida copper mine in Chile are blocking attempts by the
company to renew operations at a key port nearby as the stoppage
enters its sixth week.
Union members said they would return to the negotiating
table if the company gave a written guarantee that it would only
discuss the union's three key demands.
Goldman Sachs said fees to China copper were falling close
to break-even costs of $50-$60 a tonne, at $60-$70 a tonne.
"Should (treatment charges) fall substantially below this
level in the coming weeks, we expect this will be an important
catalyst for physical tightening and for the next leg higher in
copper prices," it said.
But so far, the shortfall has not eroded Asian stocks, a
"I have heard concentrates are getting tighter, which
obviously makes sense but no tightness has fed through to the
refined market whatsoever," he said.
"The best bids in Asia are the warehouses. Seems the end
users in China were well stocked before Chinese New Year and
have no appetite to buy more at these high LME numbers."
LME zinc targeted a 5-percent rally this week. Price
have been supported by a widening shortfall in metal after
several large mines closed.
Russian aluminium giant Rusal forecast the market
to remain in good shape this year.
ANZ is scaling back its commodities market exposure by
quitting trading activity in base metals, coal and iron ore and
electricity, the bank confirmed.
A Philippine nickel ore producer plans to reopen two mines
suspended for environmental violations while it awaits the
outcome of an appeal, in a test of rules around the government's
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
($1 = 6.8950 Chinese yuan)
($1 = 6.9026 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and