Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.8% to $9,028 a tonne, while the most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.7% at 66,940 yuan ($10,298.46) a tonne.

Wage talks with unions remain unresolved, Antofagasta reported

“Fundamentals remain healthy, especially with the supply and logistics disruptions in South America, while demand outlook looks promising based on positive macro data,” a Singapore-based copper analyst told Reuters.

High waves at ports in top copper producer Chile disrupted exports of concentrate and copper metal for most of January.

Data from top consumer China showed stronger-than-expected industrial growth in the first two months of 2021, while new lending in the country fell less than expected in February.

Meanwhile, tight concentrate supply remained a concern for downstream copper players.

“However, risk sentiment is definitely dampened with the rising US Treasury yield and a stronger US dollar in the short term, which definitely weighed on copper prices,” the analyst said.

Supply

Antofagasta expects to reach a pay deal with its workers this month, it said on Tuesday after posting a 12.3% jump in annual profit on high copper and gold prices.

Wage talks with unions remain unresolved after workers rejected the company’s latest offer at its Los Pelambres mine in Chile, the world’s top copper producer.

“It’s about how we preserve business competitiveness together with unions – and that is the key thing that we need to establish as a fundamental for any negotiation,”  finance chief Mauricio Ortiz told Reuters.

A union representing workers at Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres mine on Tuesday it will agree to extend government-mediated talks into next week in an effort to avoid a strike.

(With files from Reuters)





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