ASX copper shares down after the commodity’s price falls 4%

Copper pure-play Oz Minerals led the fall in copper share prices today.

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Notable ASX copper shares fell today, alongside the price of copper, following news that China might soon release its copper stockpiles.

Copper is currently valued at US$9,552.50 a tonne ­– its lowest price since 23 April.

How 3 ASX copper shares performed today

There are only a few ASX listed companies focused on copper. Here’s how 3 performed today.

Oz Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) is the only pure-play copper share within the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO). The Oz Minerals share price fell a notable 6.69% to $23.85 at the closing bell.

Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR) is the ASX’s second largest copper producer by market capitalisation. The Sandfire Resources share price also slumped 5.99% to finish the day at $6.90.

BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) also produces copper but it’s one of many metals that the ASX 200 miner digs out of the ground. The BHP share price took less of a hit today, down 1.73% to $48.37.

What is driving copper down?

The copper price fell 4.04% today, spurred by news of the possibility that China could introduce measures to limit the commodity’s price.

According to reporting by The Wall Street Journal, rumours are swirling that China’s State Reserve Bureau might release some of its stockpiles of copper, as well as aluminium and zinc, over the coming months.

China currently consumes 50% of the world’s refined copper. By releasing some of its stockpiles, China’s demand for copper imports would wane slightly and, in theory, lower the price of copper.

China has been attempting to lower the price of certain commodities for several weeks with little success.

Copper has been one of the commodities rallying this year. Its price has been propelled by eco-friendly initiatives, the growing popularity of electric vehicles and COVID-19 restrictions at copper mines.

Electric vehicles and solar energy require more copper than traditional technology. Additionally, new copper sources are few and far between.

Copper hit its highest price ever on 10 May, when it was selling for US$10,724.50 a tonne. It has since fallen 10.9%.

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