* China's copper import surge in focus
* LME copper stocks at lowest since March 2019
LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Copper prices recovered on Monday
as the market turned its attention back to robust economic
growth and demand in China and expectations of an upturn at
manufacturing companies in Europe and the United States.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME)
was up 1.4% at $6,398 a tonne at 1600 GMT.
Prices of the metal used in the power and construction
industries fell to a one-month low of $6,226 on Friday as funds
took profits on long positions.
"Prices stalled at around $6,500, the fatigue of going
nowhere set in and there was some profit-taking," said Citi
analyst Oliver Nugent, adding that the short-term noise created
by funds didn't change the backdrop of healthy demand.
"The medium term is positive, visible stocks are low and the
narrative of a V-shaped recovery in China is still relevant. Its
imports of refined metal are still strong."
DEMAND: China's industrial output is steadily returning to
levels achieved before the pandemic paralysed much of the
economy, with pent-up demand, government stimulus and
surprisingly resilient exports propelling a recovery.
IMPORTS: Chinese imports of unwrought copper and copper
products rose to a record 762,211 tonnes in July, a jump of
16.1% from the previous record of 656,483 tonnes in June and up
81.5% from 420,000 tonnes in July 2019.
INVENTORIES: Copper stocks in warehouses registered with the
LME <MCUSTX-TOTAL> are at 114,375 tonnes, down nearly 60% since
the middle of May and their lowest since March 2019.
Highlighting the tight LME market are cancelled warrants -
metal earmarked for delivery and no longer available to buyers -
at nearly 60% of total copper stocks and large holdings of
copper warrants <0#LME-WHL>.
UNCERTAINTY: Weighing on sentiment overall was nervousness
about a fresh flare in U.S.-China tensions and considerable
uncertainty on whether U.S. policymakers could approve a mooted
OTHER METALS: Aluminium gained 0.7% to $1,784 a
tonne, zinc was down 0.5% at $2,391, lead lost
0.7% to $1,902, tin was little changed at $17,765 and
nickel ceded 0.7% to $14,280.
(Reporting by Pratima Desai
Editing by Susan Fenton and David Goodman)