LME markets have spent another week gently falling away with last night closing at the lowest levels for the month of October. Since 1 October the USD price of Aluminium and Lead has fallen 6.5% and Nickel has fallen 9.5%. In the increasing world of price volatility this is almost seen as normal by the market and barely rates a mention in press commentary.

Many articles this week are commentating on Japanese exports to China falling 14.1% in September from a year earlier, down for the fourth straight month, suggesting anti-Japanese sentiment in China over a territorial spat was adding to a slump in shipments. The islands in contention are known as the Senkaku Islands and are uninhabitable, although it is thought oil reserves might be found under the sea nearby.

METALS-Copper touches 1-mth low; equities, Japan exports weigh LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Copper hit the lowest in more than a month on Monday after a bigger than expected fall in Japan’s exports, reflecting the global economic slowdown and curbing investors’
appetite for assets perceived as risky.

Exports to China, which overtook the United States as Japan’s top market in 2009, fell 14.1 percent in September from a year earlier, the biggest decline since January. Shipments to the European Union also dropped a striking 21.1 percent as Europe’s debt crisis remained firmly entrenched.

“The export data for September was particularly poor,” said Natixis strategist Nic Brown. “And if you look at the way in which Japanese exports are a function of the demand from the rest of Asia – that’s become clearly apparent over the last couple of years – this is a reflection of weakness in the Asian economy as a whole.

Europe Copper Demand Has Bottomed Out -Aurubis
1453 GMT [Dow Jones] Copper demand in Europe has “reached its low”, says German copper producer Aurubis. “The downward trend in European demand for rod and continuous cast products stopped in the summer [and] stable demand is expected in Europe for the coming year,” the company says. “The construction industry, the electronics sector and renewable energies could provide momentum in particular,” it adds. Analysts also say there is hope with regard to copper demand in China, due to programs to support the economy and the upcoming change in political leadership, which it says will be pressured to achieve success

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