March 26, 2019 / 4:03 AM / a month ago

METALS-London copper drifts as U.S. economy worries weigh

 (Adds analyst comment, detail, updates prices)
    BEIJING/MELBOURNE, March 26 (Reuters) - London copper prices
drifted in Asian trade on Monday as fears of a recession in the
United States were offset by a supply disruption at a key copper
mine in Peru.
    "So far, the impact on metals is all macro driven, and I
think the market is now looking for a catalyst for its next
move," said analyst Helen Lau of broker Argonaut in Hong Kong. 
    The disruption at MMG's Las Bambas mine may add to
supply concerns because it is one of the world's top copper
mines, she added.
       
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange slipped 0.2 percent to $6,328 a tonne as of
0344 GMT, after closing up 0.4 percent on Monday. The most
traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange
 slipped 0.3 percent to 48,250 yuan ($7,192) a tonne. 
    * PERU: Chinese copper miner MMG will declare force majeure
under sales contracts at its Las Bambas mine in Peru after a
protest from an indigenous community caused a road blockade.
Production is expected to be progressively impacted from later
this week, it said.
    * COPPER: Chilean state miner Codelco said on Monday it had
terminated its contract with Canadian company SNC-Lavalin Group
Inc at its Chuquicamata mine in northern Chile,
accusing the engineering firm of failing to comply with its work
commitments at the world's largest open pit mine.
    * SPREADS: Cash copper is now trading at $3 a tonne discount
to the three-month contract CMCU0-3, having peaked at a
premium of $70 on March 5, indicating more plentiful supply.
    * OTHER METALS: Shanghai zinc was the top
performer, up 1 percent and off earlier highs, at 22,045 yuan 
($3,286) a tonne amid tightening stocks. In London, zinc
, aluminium and lead all added 0.2-0.4
percent.     
    * ZINC: China's refined zinc imports plunged to a two-year
low of 20,350 tonnes in February, according to customs data, due
to an unfavourable arbitrage between London and Shanghai.
Refined copper cathode imports fell 5.5 percent year-on-year to
213,947 tonnes.
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    PRICES        
 BASE METALS PRICES                      0128 GMT
 Three month LME copper                      6339
 Most active ShFE copper                    48330
 Three month LME aluminium                 1888.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                 13635
 Three month LME zinc                        2838
 Most active ShFE zinc                      22035
 Three month LME lead                        2015
 Most active ShFE lead                      16850
 Three month LME nickel                     12930
 Most active ShFE nickel                    99680
 Three month LME tin                        21335
 Most active ShFE tin                      146860
                                                 
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                           
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3   -944.26
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3  -1018.59
                                         
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3   -584.71
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3    687.34
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3  -3111.37
                                         
 
($1 = 6.7085 Chinese yuan renminbi)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly in BEIJING and Melanie Burton in
MELBOURNE, editing by Richard Pullin)
  
 
 
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