Copper Drops: Third-Largest Mine Reaches Shipment Accord

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"Copper consumption growth in China may almost halve this year as the government curbs monetary expansion."

Copper fluctuated in London after the world's third-biggest mine reached an agreement on shipments, reducing the chance that supply might be interrupted.

Anglo American Plc and Xstrata Plc's Collahuasi venture in Chile said it signed an accord with the port of Arica "recently" after a port accident forced the rerouting of shipments. Prices also may drop after JPMorgan Securities Ltd. said copper demand might slow this year in China, the world's largest consumer of the metal.

"Resumption of shipments, in addition to existing arrangements, has helped calm the market a bit," said Leon Westgate, an analyst at Standard Bank Plc in London.

Copper for delivery in three months gained $15, or 0.2%, to $9,665 a metric ton at 2:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Prices climbed as much as 0.6% and lost as much as 0.9%. Copper for delivery in March added 0.1% to $4.4145 a pound on the Comex in New York. All of the six main metals traded on the LME retreated except tin.

Copper consumption growth in China may almost halve this year as the government curbs monetary expansion, cooling demand, Michael Jansen, a strategist at JPMorgan Securities, said at a conference in Shanghai on Jan. 15. Real consumption is likely to gain about 7% to 7.88 million tons, down from 13% in 2010, he said.

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