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China cools off soaring industrial metal prices amid post-pandemic demand surge

Industrial metals prices fell on Monday after Chinese regulators urged domestic commodity companies to maintain “normal market orders.” Global metal prices have been surging lately due to post-pandemic demand from major economies.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement that authorities held talks on Sunday with key domestic commodity companies and urged them not to drive up prices, which have climbed to multi-year highs.

On Monday, the price for three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell to $9,853.50 a ton, while aluminum prices plunged 2.3% to $2,315 per ton and zinc dropped 1.2% to $2,935.50 a ton.

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In Shanghai, copper was trading down 1.4% to 71,590 yuan a ton, and the aluminum price hit a one-month low of 18,000 yuan a ton. Nickel slid to a four-week low at 122,570 yuan a ton, and zinc fell 1.1% to 22,135 yuan per ton.

China is the world's biggest consumer of industrial metals, and authorities have been raising concerns over soaring commodity prices and how they could weigh on the nation’s economic recovery. There have been signs that the price hikes are hitting China's construction sites and factories. Last week, Beijing announced that it would step up measures to curb “unreasonable” prices.

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