On worries of lean demand from China, the world’s biggest consumer of the red metal, copper prices on the London Metal Exchange slumped on Tuesday, poised for a third consecutive drop.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.3%.
Investors were worried about the drop in demand for copper, often used as a gauge of economic health, amid a prolonged U.S.-China trade war and its subsequent damage to global growth and demand.
Copper prices have dropped about 20% since last June when the trade war heightened, but some investors are bearish even beyond the impact of the dispute, citing an expected slowdown in China, the world’s second-biggest economy.
“Even without the trade war, China growth has already slowed down. Chinese people buy less cars ... less air conditioners,” said a Hong Kong-based metals trader.
“Even though the Chinese government’s stimulus plan is in place, there has not been much demand materialised,” the trader said, adding that some major trading houses reported negative copper cathode consumption growth in the first half of the year.
Meanwhile, the United States and China are set to re-launch trade talks this week after a two-month hiatus, but there is little sign their differences have narrowed.