HANOI, June 16 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell to their
lowest in nearly two months on Wednesday, weighed down by supply
pressure after top consumer China announced a plan to sell its
national reserves of the metal to stabilise prices.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
dropped by as much as 0.8% to $9,489 a tonne, its lowest since
The most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange fell by as much as 2.8% to 68,380 yuan
($10,685.04) a tonne before paring losses to close down 2.7% at
68,450 yuan a tonne.
China will release its national reserves of copper,
aluminium and zinc in batches in the near term to nonferrous
processing and manufacturing firms via public bidding, the
National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said without
giving a specific number for each metal.
Last month, copper prices hit record highs on both the LME
and ShFE, while ShFE aluminium scaled its highest since
2010 and ShFE zinc jumped to a level unseen since 2007.
In the ferrous complex, steel rebar and iron ore
futures also hit record highs in May.
A metals trader said the news was likely to have a limited
impact on prices as it had to an extent been priced in.
Expectations of U.S. policy tightening to control rising
inflation, which could lead to fund outflows from the commodity
market, also subdued prices. Investors are awaiting the outcome
of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the day.
* LME nickel fell 1.4% to $17,500 a tonne at 0734
GMT, tin shed 1.1% to $31,120 a tonne, ShFE nickel
dropped to a near three-week low of 127,800 yuan a
tonne and ShFE aluminium declined 1.8% to 18,590 yuan a
* LME copper inventories <MCUSTX-TOTAL> rose to their
highest since April 29 at 140,625 tonnes, while ShFE copper
stocks <CU-STX-SGH> were last at 180,967 tonnes, their lowest
since March 12.
* Yangshan copper premium <SMM-CUYP-CN> fell to $21 a tonne,
its lowest since February 2016 and 81% lower than May 2020,
indicating weak demand for imported metal into top consumer
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($1 = 6.3996 yuan)
(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and