Copper stocks are falling but Chilean industry body is still betting on a supply glut
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While it is still a long way from recovering to pre-pandemic levels, the copper price has made gains throughout April and has picked up more steam after London Metals Exchange stockpiles fell.
LME copper closing stocks fell to 229,650 tonnes, their lowest level since early April, while 30-day stocks have also been dropping steadily.
Copper is currently trading at about $US5,234 ($8,106) per tonne, up from a low of $US4,617.5/t in mid-March but still down from the top of $US6,300.50 this year in mid-January.
Despite this, Chilean mining association Sonami believes that the copper market will see a supply glut of 200,000 tonnes this year as both supply and demand fall due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
Sonami president Diego Hernandez told Reuters that the association expects demand to fall between 3.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent while supply could fall by 3 per cent.
Meanwhile, diversified miner Glencore says that copper will see a 4 per cent fall in supply.
“Low above ground inventories at the start of the year (relative to previous economic cycles) should help limit the extent of potential inventory build likely to be seen in copper, zinc and nickel,” the major noted.
Nickel prices ticked up by 0.23 per cent to $US12,275 per tonne, while lead gained 0.55 per cent to $US1,638.50 per tonne.
Zinc climbed 0.94 per cent to $US2,018 per tonne, though aluminium dipped 1.04 per cent to $US1,481.90 per tonne.
While monthly car sales in China rose for the first time in almost two years, they are still weighed down by huge year-on-year declines earlier this year, with concerns raised that annual figures will remain weak if the pandemic continues.
Cassini Resources (ASX:CZI) has kicked off drilling at its Yarawindah nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGE) project, about 100km northeast of Perth, to test several new electromagnetic targets.
These targets are supported by significant nickel, copper and PGE results from historical and recent drilling along with the latest geochemistry results.
Zenith Minerals (ASX:ZNC) has identified a new copper prospect about 30km south of its current resources.
The Snook prospect was identified during regional soil sampling, with an initial rock sample returning 7.58 per cent copper.
Rock geochemistry had a signature typical of volcanic hosted massive sulphides, Zenith said.