SHANGHAI, July 12 -- Copper dropped from a two-week high in London after imports by China, the world's largest metals consumer, decreased in June, signaling that demand growth may be weakening. Zinc slumped.
Three-month delivery copper fell as much as 0.8 percent to $6,707.25 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, and traded $6,710 at 10:11 a.m. in Shanghai. The contract rose to $6,760 a ton on July 9, the highest close since June 28. Zinc lost 2 percent to $1,866 a ton.
Shipments of copper and products into China fell for a third month in June to 328,231 tons, the customs office said July 10. That's 17 percent less than May and 31 percent less than a year earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations. Copper in London had its first quarterly decline since 2008 in the April-to-June period on concerns that the global economic recovery was weakening.
"The unexpected decline in China's copper imports is bearish for prices in the short term," Zeng Chao, an analyst at Everbright Futures Co. said from Shanghai today.
Copper for October delivery fell as much as 0.5 percent to 53,400 yuan ($7,884) a ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange and last traded at 53,500 yuan. Aluminum for three-month delivery in London lost 0.3 percent to $1,998 a ton and tin climbed 0.9 percent to $17,800 a ton, while lead dropped 0.7 percent to $1,832.50 a ton. Nickel hadn't traded as of 10:17 a.m. in Singapore.