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Copper price slips after new China lockdowns

Copper price slipped on Thursday after parts of Shanghai began imposing new covid lockdown restrictions.

Entertainment venues and internet cafes in Beijing’s largest district of Chaoyang, home to more than 3 million people, were ordered to be shut on Thursday after an outbreak involving bars was detected.

Offering some relief, data on Thursday showed China’s exports grew at a double-digit pace in May, shattering expectations in an encouraging sign for the world’s second-biggest economy that has been hit hard by covid curbs.

Copper for delivery in July fell 1.8% from Wednesday’s settlement, touching $4.3745 per pound ($9,623 per tonne) at lunchtime Thursday on the Comex market in New York.

Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices

Copper imports in May stayed around the lows hit earlier in the year, while copper concentrate purchases hit a record of 2.19 million tonnes as domestic smelting capacity continued to expand.

“Shanghai copper inventory and curve structure suggest a domestic market that is not yet prepared for a significant rebound in demand without a shift change in imports. That is an enticing prospect for copper bulls,” wrote Reuters columnist Andy Home.

“But it’s clear that the fund community is yet to be convinced. The speculative bears may be retreating. But fund bulls remain conspicuous by their absence.”

(With files from Reuters and Bloomberg)

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