Dec 31 (Reuters) - Base metals, which were mixed in late
Asian trading on Friday, were poised to end 2021 firmer across
the board, propped up by an economic rebound in top consumer
China and supply concerns.
Prices on the London Metal Exchange were mostly lower on the
last trading day of the year, with copper virtually flat
at $9,695 a tonne by 0708 GMT, after MMG Ltd's Las
Bambas mine in Peru said it would resume operations that had
been halted due to a road blockade.
Copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended
daytime trading 0.5% higher at 70,380 yuan ($11,043.46) a tonne.
Both London and Shanghai copper benchmarks have gained more
than 20% this year so far.
While support for metal prices is expected to remain intact
in 2022 as the world economy continues to recover from the
pandemic shock, some analysts expressed guarded optimism.
"China has been a primary source of demand for base metals
since 2003, but we think this trend has started to come to an
end," said Justin Smirk, senior economist at Westpac in
"With the decline of investment and production as key growth
drivers, this will see diminishing incremental economic growth
and a reduction in materials demand as a share of output," he
* Las Bambas mine in Peru, the world's No. 2 copper
producer, on Thursday said it would restart operations after
reaching a deal with a Peruvian community that blocked a key
transport road for a month, with the process expected to take up
to six days.
* China's factory activity unexpectedly accelerated in
December, but only by a small margin, according to an official
survey released on Friday, amid disruptions from COVID-19
outbreaks and as the broader economy loses momentum in the
* LME aluminium was down 0.1% at $2,815.50 a tonne,
while Shanghai aluminium rose 0.5% to 20,380 yuan a
* LME zinc dropped 0.7% to $3,507 a tonne but
Shanghai zinc gained 0.3% to 24,125 yuan a tonne.
* LME nickel was up 0.1% at $20,600 a tonne, while
Shanghai nickel advanced 1.4% to 152,080 yuan a tonne.
* LME lead fell 0.8% to $2,278 a tonne and Shanghai
lead slipped 0.3% to 15,300 yuan a tonne.
* LME tin was almost flat at $39,195 a tonne, but
Shanghai tin climbed 1.3% to 296,110 yuan a tonne.
* The LME and Shanghai exchange will be closed on Monday for
the New Year break.
($1 = 6.3730 yuan)
(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila;
Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)