Seeking Alpha
Contrarian, arbitrage, commodities, gold & precious metals
Profile| Send Message| ()  

With the China PMI indicating a contraction in GDP growth (of which I talked about here), another sign has emerged of China slowing down.

The LME Copper Warehouse Stocks Level has started a trend change and is actually rising (chart 1). This build in inventories is probably indicating a slowdown in the Chinese economy. A part of this build is due to Chinese markets staying shut for a public holiday on Wednesday, April 4, Qing Ming Festival. Shanghai reopened on Thursday.

The trend change coincided with one of the biggest drops in a year in gold and silver after Ben Bernanke indicated no QE3 was necessary due to a stable economy.

Chart 1: LME Copper Warehouse Level

Table 1 lists the top 10 countries based on copper demand. Keep in mind that China's copper demand was only 3.5 million tonnes/annum in 2005 and has now more than doubled to 8.4 million tonnes/annum in 2012. Considering the fact that China is now the largest consumer of copper in the world, China's economic conditions will have a big impact on the copper price and global commodity prices in general.

Table 1:

Country

Demand (Million tonnes/annum)

China

8,4

Europe

4,3

U.S.

2,1

Japan

1,2

Taiwan

1

Russia

0,7

South Korea

0,69

India

0,54

Brasil

0,36

Mexico

0,3

Global Demand

20,5

Today, we still see a backwardated LME cash-to-three month copper spread MCU0-3. This indicates that the supply of copper is still tight. As long as the Chinese economy doesn't have a hard landing in the near term, the prospects for copper are still bright.

Previously I recommended Capstone Mining (OTCPK:CSFFF) in this article. I still think Capstone Mining is a great buy, especially today. Since I recommended the stock, the share price has come down to under $3 a share (which is at book value), due to concerns China may slow down. Considering insiders have bought Capstone Mining at $3/share, anything under this price level is a buy.

Source: Copper Demand And The Importance Of China