Most base metals falls on modest Chinese growth target

Most base metals falls on modest Chinese growth target

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(Updates prices, adds quotes)

March 6 (Reuters) –

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Most base metals prices declined on Monday after top consumer China set a lower-than-expected economic growth target, dampening some hopes of a robust demand recovery for the sector.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.8% at $8,913 a tonne by 0704 GMT, and the most-traded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged down 0.1% at 69,310 yuan ($10,024.88) a tonne.

China set a modest growth target of around 5%, the low-end of expectations of as high as 6% and also below last year’s target of around 5.5%.

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“The target …is generally neutral,” said Jinrui Futures in a note, adding that it is unlikely to provide a strong boost to copper price, while consumption of the metal in China in the short-term is still restricted by high prices.

Signs of easing supply disruption in Panama also pressured copper prices.

Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo said on Friday talks between his government and Canada’s First Quantum Minerals over the Cobre Panama mine were in the

final stretch

, with only one point still to be resolved.

“We expect that First Quantum and Panama’s government are incentivised to reach a resolution in the near term, given how significant the mine is to Panama’s economy,” said CRU analyst Craig Lang.

Meanwhile in Peru, Andean communities will resume a blockade of a crucial highway used by major copper producers next week, two local leaders said on Saturday, following a truce that had allowed mining companies to restart production.

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Copper supply disruption in Peru, the world’s second-biggest producer of mined copper, has been cushioning falls in price, albeit at a modest degree.

LME aluminum fell 0.7% to $2,388 a tonne, zinc lost 1.6% to $3,027 a tonne, tin decreased 1% to $24,500 a tonne, and lead edged down 0.1% at $2,116.50 a tonne.

SHFE aluminum shed 0.4% to 18,590 yuan a tonne, tin lost 0.2% to 199,650 yuan a tonne, while nickel rose 1.1% to 188,620 yuan a tonne and lead advanced 0.1% to 15,285 yuan a tonne.

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($1 = 6.9138 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sonia Cheema)

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