Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) –Copper may rise on speculation China, the world's biggest consumer of the metal used in wiring and pipes, will accelerate imports, a survey showed.
Seven of 15 analysts, investors and traders surveyed by Bloomberg, or 47 percent, said prices will gain next week. Six predicted a drop and two forecast little change. Copper for three-month delivery was up 0.6 percent for this week at $9,132 a metric ton by 4:15 p.m. yesterday on the London Metal Exchange.
Copper imports into China in July reached the highest level since January on buying by traders before an expected seasonal gain in demand and on depletion of local stockpiles in the first half. Shipments of refined metal, copper alloy and products rose 9.5 percent from June to 306,626 tons, customs figures showed Aug. 10.
"We are still expecting Chinese import demand for metals to grow significantly in the upcoming months, which in turn will support the LME markets," said Sven Streitmayer, an analyst at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Asian nation, which has a target of building 10 million units of affordable housing this year, may release August import figures on Sept. 10.
The red bars on the attached chart are derived by subtracting bearish forecasts from bullish estimates, with readings below zero signaling the majority of respondents expect a decline. The green line shows the copper price. The survey data shown are as of Sept. 2.
The weekly copper survey has forecast prices accurately in 75 of the past 153 weeks, or 49 percent of the time.
This week's survey results: Bullish: 7 Bearish: 6 Hold: 2