NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Dec 4, 2012) - China's slowing economy, which is set to grow at the slowest pace in over a decade, has recently shown much needed signs of improvement. Copper prices last week surged to a 6-week high on rising demand from China, who accounts for approximately 40 percent of global demand. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Copper Industry and provides equity research on Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) and Southern Copper Corp. (NYSE: SCCO).
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A recent survey has shown that manufacturing in China, the world's second largest economy, expanded for the first time in 13 months. HSBC's Purchasing Managers' Index last week rose to 50.4 for November, any reading above 50 signals expansion. China's leaders have slashed interest rates twice since June and have announced $150 billion in infrastructure projects in attempts to boost its slowing economy.
"There's more confidence from purchasing managers here and our sales are quite positive," said Stefan Boel, board member of Aurubis AG, the second largest copper producer in the world, on Bloomberg TV's Asia Edge. "There's a very solid interest in our copper products for next year."
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Recent estimates from Barclays PLC have shown that copper demand will exceed supply by 316,000 metric tons in the first half of 2013, before reaching a surplus in the second half of the year. Global demand for copper is expected to grow by 3.4 percent to 20.85 million tons in 2013, while China's demand is expected to grow by 5.5 percent to 8.1 million tons.
"U.S. growth will be moderate and Europe is stabilizing, so that drag might reverse partially, and then it all falls back to China," said Dominic Schnider, global head of commodity research at UBS Wealth Management. "Economic activity doesn't have to be that strong in China for inventories to get drawn down and you could see a rally in the first half, but then you come into the second half where mine supply comes in on the strong side."
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