Copper declined on Monday, August 22
After closing the previous week with gains, copper started this week on a weaker note. On Monday, August 22, copper was down in the early morning hours and maintained its weakness throughout the day.
Please read Copper, Gold, and Silver Are Weaker Early on August 22 to see how copper traded in the early morning hours on Monday.
China’s copper exports increased in July
Copper fell to its lowest price level in six weeks on Monday, August 22, as the Market was disappointed by the surge in China’s exports. According to its recent data, China’s exports of unwrought copper and products in July surged to 75,022 tons, more than five times the increase from its export figures in July 2015.
This increase in export data raised concerns over the strength of demand from China. Considering the fact that China is the world’s largest consumer of copper, accounting for more than 45% of global consumption, the demand signals from China have influenced price trends.
China’s copper imports have declined since April after reaching a peak in March. Please read What Could Drive Chinese Copper Imports in 2H16? to learn more about China’s copper imports. The decline in copper imports, along with a surge in exports, dented the sentiment in the Market. The Market is looking forward to China’s manufacturing PMI data, which is scheduled to be released on September 1 and which could gauge the strength of demand.
At 2:00 PM EDT on Monday, August 22, major copper producers Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), Glencore (GLNCY), BHP Billiton (BHP), and Rio Tinto (RIO) fell by ~1.7%, ~1.5%, ~1.1%, and ~1.3%, respectively. The SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) gained ~0.24% and the PowerShares DB Base Metals ETF (DBB) fell by ~0.6%.