METALS-Copper eases on fears of China price curbs

(Updates prices)

HANOI, June 10 (Reuters) - Copper fell on Thursday, hit by fresh concerns about price controls after surging producer inflation strengthened China’s resolve to keep commodity prices in check.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.6% to $9,920 a tonne by 0706 GMT, while the most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dipped 0.5% to 71,290 yuan ($11,167.15) a tonne.

China’s state planner on Wednesday renewed its pledge to step up monitoring of commodity prices and strengthen supervision of spot and futures markets, as domestic producer inflation hit its highest in more than 12 years.

Copper prices have surged 28% so far this year on the LME and 21% on ShFE. Last month, both contracts hit record highs.

“Such a rise in raw material prices has fueled concerns that officials will crack down on speculation. China’s economic policy agency vowed to strengthen its control over commodity markets,” said ANZ in a note.

China is the world’s biggest consumer of metals.

The market is also awaiting U.S. inflation data, due later on Thursday, for clues on the Federal Reserve’s position on tapering monetary stimulus, a move that could dampen demand for metals.


* LME aluminium fell 0.5% to $2,447.50 a tonne, while nickel declined 1% to $17,955 a tonne. In Shanghai, aluminium rose 0.4% to 18,440 yuan a tonne, nickel shed 0.6% to 131,110 yuan a tonne, while lead rose 1% to 15,420 yuan a tonne.

* Malaysia Smelting Corporation Bhd, the world’s third-biggest refined tin maker, said on Wednesday it had declared force majeure on its deliveries to customers because of coronavirus-related disruptions to production.

* The premium of LME cash aluminium and the three-month contract CMAL0-3 rose to $11.80 a tonne, its biggest since December 2019, indicating tightening supply of nearby contracts.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 6.3839 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Devika Syamnath and Elaine Hardcastle)