LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) - Lead prices surged to a
three-year high on Wednesday after a major lead smelter in
Germany halted operations due to flooding.
Berzelius Stolberg declared force majeure on metal shipments
from its plant in western Germany, the biggest primary lead
smelter in Europe.
Three-month lead on the London Metal Exchange had
gained 0.3% to $2,336 a tonne by 1630 GMT after touching $2,350,
the highest since July 2018. It was earlier in negative
Meanwhile, copper prices rebounded after China's
announcement of a second sale of state reserves with an amount
that was less then expected and the dollar eased.
LME copper rose 0.2% to $9,351.50 a tonne after
earlier falling to a low of $9,260.50.
China will sell 30,000 tonnes of copper and other base
metals on July 29 as Beijing aims to rein in skyrocketing
commodity prices, a government body said.
"There were rumours in the market that there would be a high
number, but the announcement was lower than expectations," said
Wenyu Yao, senior commodities strategist at ING Bank.
* The premium of LME cash lead over the three-month contract
<CMPB0-3> hit a near three-week high of $17.50 a tonne,
indicating tightening nearby supply. LME inventories
<MPBSTX-TOTAL> fell to a one-year low of 64,425 tonnes.
* The dollar index pulled back from more than
three-month highs, making metals priced in the U.S. currency
cheaper to holders of other currencies.
* The Yangshan copper premium <SMM-CUYP-CN> rose to $40 a
tonne, its highest since May 7, indicating strengthening demand
for imported metal into China.
* The global nickel market deficit widened to 21,300 tonnes
in May compared a shortfall of 20,400 tonnes in April, data
* LME aluminium eased 0.2% to $2,460.50 a tonne,
zinc dropped 0.8% to $2,937, nickel lost 0.5% to
$18,590 and tin edged up 0.1% to $33,540.
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($1 = 6.4751 yuan)
(Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by
Kirsten Donovan, David Evans and Sandra Maler)