By Mai Nguyen
HANOI, Apr 2 (Reuters) – Copper prices rose on Friday on concerns about limited supplies of refined copper, after data showed a drop in activity from global smelters due to raw material shortages.
* The copper contract for delivery in May on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 2.4% at 67,090 yuan ($ 10,227.91) a ton and accumulated a weekly advance of 0.9%.
* The London Metal Exchange (LME) will be closed for a public holiday and both markets will be inactive on Monday.
* Global smelter activity fell to its lowest level in at least five years in March, especially in China – the leading producer of refined copper – satellite surveillance data on copper plants showed.
* Reduced supply of concentrates partially offset signs of weaker-than-expected refined copper demand in China, the world’s largest consumer, as it enters a season of traditionally strong demand in the second quarter.
* The Yangshan copper premium fell to $ 57 a ton, its lowest level since Nov. 30, indicating weakening demand for imported copper in China.
* Copper inventories on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) rose to their highest level since May 2020 at 197,628 tonnes.
* Japan’s second-largest copper smelter, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co, expects its refined copper production in financial year 2021/22 to drop 5% to 421,000 tonnes due to maintenance at its Toyo smelter and refinery.
* To view base metal futures prices:
($ 1 = 6.5595 yuan)
(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)