The Strategist

Bloomberg: China buys over half of Russian copper on London Metal Exchange

10/31/2022 - 09:24

Over the previous three weeks, dealers were instructed to supply consumers in China with more than half of the copper from the London Metal Exchange (LME), the most of which has Russian provenance, reports Bloomberg.

They claim that over 70,000 tons of copper were requested for delivery from LME warehouses by traders during this time. The majority of it is destined for Chinese buyers, according to the agency. Up to 80% of the copper traded on the stock exchange in recent months, according to the LME, originated in Russia.

Meanwhile, a dealer told Bloomberg that his Chinese clients "do not care" that the copper they are purchasing is from Russia. A representative of LME declined to comment.

The increase in copper orders could fuel worries that the LME's proposed penalties against Russian metallurgists will worsen existing shortages in other metal markets. According to Bloomberg, the amount of readily usable copper in LME warehouses has already dropped to 42,300 tons, approaching a multi-year low that was observed in 2021 during a record-breaking supply drawdown.