Off The Wire
Copper rises as inventories plunge to decades-low
By Mai Nguyen
Oct 19 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Tuesday, buoyed by decades-low supplies and an extreme shortage of readily available metal in exchange warehouses.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1.5% to $10,351 a tonne by 0703 GMT, while the most-traded November copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.2% at 75,810 yuan ($11,834.77) a tonne.
LME cash copper was at a record high $1,103.50-a-tonne premium over the three-month contract, compared to $55 just a week earlier, indicating tight nearby inventories.
"There seems to really be no copper around. (Trading) volumes have been monster, but with spreads this tight, some people are too frightened to get involved as there is too much at stake," said commodities broker Anna Stablum of Marex Spectron.
"For once, we are actually discounting macro here and just looking at micro."
On-warrant LME copper inventories plunged to 14,150 tonnes on Friday, their lowest since 1998, before rising to 21,050 tonnes, with one entity controlling between 50% and 79% of LME copper warrants , LME data showed.
A weaker dollar also made greenback-priced metals cheaper to holders of other currencies, and a Peruvian community threatening to block a key mining road used by MMG's Las Bambas copper mine also supported prices.
(Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Subhranshu Sahuand Rashmi Aich
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