Copper price meltdown continues on Chinese economic shocksFrik Els | March 13, 2014
In lunchtime trade in New York trade May copper changed hands at just below $2.92 a pound, down 1.5% to the lowest level for the most active futures contract since June 2010.
A steady stream of dismal economic numbers out of China – responsible for 42% of total global copper demand – have pushed the price of the red metal down more than 9% since just this Friday.Data released by China's Statistics Bureau this morning shows industrial production, fixed asset investment and retail sales data for January and February – combined in order to reduce the seasonal effect of Chinese New Year – all coming in way below expectations.
Year-on-year industrial production growth dropped from 9.7% in December to 8.6% in January and February and came in almost full percentage point below consensus forecast.Signs that Chinese authorities are doing everything they can to throttle back debt-fueled growth and rein in lumbering state-owned enterprises are evident from an almost halving in the growth achieved by the state sector to 4.4%. (Read More)