Copper price retreated on Friday as the number of covid-19 cases rose in China, making investors nervous about the country’s economic recovery.
China is the top consumer of copper globally, but it is facing factory shutdowns across the country.
A copper fabricator in Henan that produces pipes and parts used in household appliances and medical devices said its sales were down 20% to 30% in tonnage terms in the first half of April from a year earlier.
“Many customers are at a standstill due to restrictions,” said an official at the company.
In southwest China, Yunnan Tin Co., the country’s largest producer of the metal, said it had halted production at its mining unit to comply with local government virus restrictions.
Copper for delivery in May fell 1.4% from Thursday’s settlement price, touching $4.635 per pound ($10,197 per tonne) midday Friday on the Comex market in New York.
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President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the goal of minimizing deaths from the virus in a speech on Thursday while emphasizing the need to expand cooperation to ensure the economy’s recovery.
China’s zero tolerance approach to coronavirus has seen banks including UBS Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc. slash their growth forecasts for the country as lockdowns weigh on economic activity.
(With files from Reuters and Bloomberg)