METALS-Shanghai copper hits near 3-year high on China output cut concern

Credit: REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad

March 15 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper prices hit a near three-year high on Friday, while prices in London touched a 10-month peak, buoyed by a potential output cut in top producer China.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) CMCU3 advanced 1.2% to $8,998 per metric ton by 0439 GMT, having hit the highest since April 2023 earlier in the session.

The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) SCFcv1 advanced 1.3% to 72,610 yuan ($10,089.77) a ton, having climbed to 72,640 yuan, its highest since May 2021, earlier in the session.

Major Chinese copper smelters have reached an agreement to lower operation rates, adjust maintenance plans and postpone new projects, state-backed research house Antaike said on Thursday.

China accounted for 47% of the global refined copper output last year, data from the World Bureau of Metal Statistics showed. It is also the world's biggest copper consumer.

LME aluminium CMAL3 increased 0.9% to $2,272 a ton, nickel CMNI3 was up 0.9% at $18,235, zinc CMZN3 advanced 0.9% to $2,570, tin CMSN3 was 0.5% higher at $28,400 while lead CMPB3 dipped 0.1% to $2,156.50.

SHFE aluminum SAFcv1 rose 0.1% to 19,285 yuan a ton, tin SSNcv1 advanced 0.8% to 225,140 yuan, while nickel SNIcv1 fell 0.4% to 141,180 yuan, zinc SZNcv1 was nearly flat at 21,475 yuan and lead SPBcv1 was unchanged at 16,320 yuan.

Prices were capped by a stronger dollar, which makes greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.

Supply disruptions in nickel in Indonesia and zinc in South Korea helped push LME nickel and zinc prices, which are set for their fifth straight weekly gain.

Mining quota delay in major nickel and tin producer Indonesia could be resolved by the end of March, a senior government official had said.

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TOP/MTL or MET/L DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0745 France CPI (EU Norm) Final MM, YY Feb

1100 EU Reserve Assets Total Feb

1230 US Import Prices YY Feb

1315 US Industrial Production MM Feb

1400 US U Mich Sentiment Prelim March

($1 = 7.1964 yuan)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

((mai.nguyen@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: mai.nguyen.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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