Copper, Base Metals Plunge on Concern China’s Usage Slowed

Bloomberg.com: Latin America: “Copper prices in New York plunged the most in 14 years, joining a decline in base metals, on concern that a slowing economy in China will erode consumption growth that led to a 15-year high in prices last week.

Consumption of copper in China, the world’s biggest buyer, fell 21 percent in July from a year earlier, leading a global decline of 3.3 percent, the Lisbon-based International Copper Study Group said yesterday.

“At some point, and who knows when, there’s going to be a hiccup in China, and the huge consumption everybody’s expecting for the next six months or a year is not going to be so huge,” said Ron Fisher, a basic-materials analyst in New York at Stein Roe Investment Counsel, which sold its copper holdings in March. “The China factor is very big in the metals.”

Copper futures for December delivery fell […] 11 percent […] on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. A close at that price would be the biggest drop since April 1990.”

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