Column: Copper may be too relaxed about Russian supply threat – by Andy Home (Reuters – March 23, 2022)

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – Doctor Copper has sat serene amid the chaos engulfing London Metal Exchange (LME) trading this month.

The London copper market was briefly shaken by the margin meltdown that triggered the March 8 suspension of the LME nickel market with a short-lived spike up to a new all-time high of $10,845 per tonne. But since then LME three-month copper has done little more than tread water, last trading at $10,340 per tonne.

This is in part because the London copper contract was already subdued after its own bout of unruliness in October last year, when the LME intervened to limit acute time-spread tightness.

It is also because copper seems much less exposed to a disruption of Russian supply than other industrial metals such as nickel which has been rocked to the point of breakdown by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But is it? Or is Doctor Copper in for an unwelcome surprise?

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