LME Copper warehouse stocks have fallen by 126,375mt since they hit a peak of above 335,000mt in August 2019. In November, stocks declined 22pc over a 30-day period from 255,025mt to 208,625mt.
Sluggish global demand has been a key driver for the falling inventory, especially in countries like China that saw a 32pc decline in its copper scrap imports to 1.3mn mt between January and October this year compared with 1.9mn mt during the same period a year ago. Between October and November imports to the country decreased by 49pc and are trending to close the year even lower.
The low demand has also impacted copper prices which have fluctuated between $2.65/lb and $2.66/lb after briefly hitting a high of $2.69/lb in November.
Apart from mining where production has been hit in major copper mining countries in South America, the imposition of tariffs by US is not helping the global trade situation either. With the trade war between the US and China potentially being delayed until after the next US presidential elections, and the US congress still deliberating on the latest USMCA this week, domestic copper trade is expected to remain cool in North America.