July 13 (Reuters) - Copper advanced on Tuesday as
better-than-expected trade data from top consumer China lifted
demand outlook for the metal, even as physical demand was tepid
due to high material prices.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
up 0.2% at $9,425 a tonne, as of 0802 GMT, while the most-traded
August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange
dipped 0.4% to 69,200 yuan ($10,705.78) a tonne.
China's exports grew much faster than expected in June, as
solid global demand led by easing lockdown measures and
vaccination drives worldwide eclipsed virus outbreaks and port
delays, customs data showed.
The country's overall imports also beat expectations last
month, though the pace of gains eased from May, with the values
boosted by high raw material prices, the data showed.
The data boosted metals, a Singapore-based trader said,
adding that prices have already consolidated at lower levels.
So, if the dollar falls, prices will likely rise.
However, copper prices were capped by weak physical demand
from some downstream users as their margin was hurt by the
metal's price rally which hit record levels in May.
"Demand is not really good due to high copper prices. It's
worse than last year. The second half of this year may be
better... if delayed projects in infrastructure and grid
companies start to place orders," said CRU analyst He Tianyu.
* LME aluminium rose 0.4% to $2,498.50 a tonne and
nickel increased 0.5% to $18,765 a tonne, while lead
fell 0.6% to $2,318 a tonne.
* ShFE aluminium was up 0.8% at 19,235 yuan a
tonne, nickel rose 0.6% to 140,500 yuan a tonne, while
zinc declined 1.9% to 21,995 yuan a tonne and lead
shed 1.6% to 15,630 yuan a tonne.
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($1 = 6.4638 yuan)
(Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips, Uttaresh.V and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)