May 22, 2019 / 5:54 AM / a year ago

METALS-Copper slips as trade tensions overshadow Peru mine concerns

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices; updates London prices)
    BEIJING, May 22 (Reuters) - London copper prices slipped to
their lowest in almost four months on Wednesday, as concerns
over potential renewed supply disruptions at MMG Ltd's
Las Bambas mine in Peru were offset by U.S.-China trade
    Reuters reported on Tuesday that an indigenous community had
imposed a road blockade at Las Bambas, citing a representative
of the public ombudsman office said. An earlier blockade at Las
Bambas in March and April disrupted the mine's copper
concentrate exports and boosted prices.

    Other metals also lost ground in the Asian afternoon
session, with Shanghai zinc hitting its lowest since
    "The trade side of the market is very much in 'stand aside
mood' with little material being priced and it would seem the
speculative side ... is going shorter and shorter," Malcolm
Freeman, director of Kingdom Futures, wrote in a note.
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
 fell as much as 0.7% to $5,957 per tonne, its lowest
since Jan. 25, and stood at $5,962 as of 0743 GMT. The
most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange dropped as much as 1.3% to 47,100 yuan
($6,816.21) a tonne, the lowest since Jan. 28, and closed on
47,160 yuan per tonne ($6,851.65).
    * ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium fell 0.5% to $1,787, just
above a two-year low. ShFE aluminium slid for a third
day, slipping as much as 1% to 14,120 yuan, its lowest since May
    * USD: The dollar found support near a 3-1/2-week high,
keeping dollar-denominated metal prices under pressure.

    * BRAZIL: Albras aluminium smelter in Brazil, partly owned
by Norsk Hydro, started to ramp up its output on
Tuesday after a Brazilian federal court lifted production
restrictions at the Alunorte alumina plant. "This is seen as
negative (for prices) as it could lower the input cost for
aluminium production," ANZ said in a note.
    * NICKEL: BHP Group on Wednesday said it
plans to expand its nickel sulphide operations amid an expected
boom in demand for the material in electric vehicle batteries.
    * VEDANTA: A year after Indian police killed 13 people
protesting against pollution from a copper smelter in
Thoothukudi, tensions within the community are still running
    * COLUMN: What soaring iron ore and faltering copper say
about China: Andy Home
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian stocks were on shaky ground as earlier relief over
Washington's temporary relaxation of curbs against China's
Huawei Technologies failed to offset deeper worries about trade
 BASE METALS PRICES                      0745 GMT
 Three month LME copper                    5964.5
 Most active ShFE copper                    47160
 Three month LME aluminium                 1787.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                 14120
 Three month LME zinc                      2555.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                      20455
 Three month LME lead                        1803
 Most active ShFE lead                      16080
 Three month LME nickel                     11945
 Most active ShFE nickel                    97510
 Three month LME tin                        19370
 Most active ShFE tin                      144610
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                           
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3    564.79
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3    115.53
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3     95.34
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3   1542.04
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3   2163.98
($1 = 6.9100 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Rashmi Aich and James
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