Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) --Copper rebounded from the lowest level in more than a week yesterday as Chinese imports rose for a seventh month to a record. Zinc, lead and tin also advanced.
Copper for delivery in three months climbed as much as 1.5 percent to $7,609.50 per metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $7,577.75 by 3 p.m. Shanghai time. Yesterday it fell to $7,445 a ton, the lowest level since Dec. 29. The March- delivery contract traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.7 percent higher at 55,870 yuan ($8,848) a ton.
Imports (CNIVCOPP) of unwrought copper and products by China, the biggest consumer, gained 13 percent in December from the previous month to 508,942 tons, according to customs data today. Shipments for the whole year dropped 5.1 percent to 4.07 million tons, the first decline since 2008, customs data showed.
"Imports turned out to be much stronger than expected, boosting the copper price," said Wang Ning, an analyst at Xiangyu Futures Co. "As market participants expect more industry-supportive policies to be rolled out after the Chinese New Year, demand may not turn out to be as bad as some had thought."
The week-long vacation starts on Jan. 23. China's overall import growth fell to a two-year low in December, underscoring a slowdown in the fastest-growing major economy that deepens risks for the global outlook. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) of stocks rallied on optimism policy makers will add stimulus, advancing 2.7 percent to close at 2,285.74, the highest level in almost a month.
Pan Pacific Copper Co. (PPCCZ), Japan's largest producer, suspended operations at its Saganoseki smelter since Jan. 7 after a fire damaged an electric power substation and high-voltage cable on the site, spokesman Kouichi Shirai said today.
On the LME, aluminum rose 0.4 percent to $2,117 a ton. Alcoa Inc. (AA), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, said yesterday global aluminum demand will grow 7 percent this year, compared with 10 percent in 2011, and will exceed supply by 600,000 tons this year, according to its fourth-quarter earnings statement.
Zinc gained 0.4 percent to $1,886 per ton and lead climbed 0.8 percent to $1,982 per ton. Nickel was little changed at $19,126 a ton and tin climbed 0.8 percent to $19,950 a ton.