Shanghai’s aluminium prices fell to their lowest level in three months Thursday, as falling coal prices helped ease concerns about rising production costs.

The December copper contract traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 fell 7.6% to 19,200 Yuan ($2,999.95 a tonne), the lowest level since July 22. Since the beginning of last week, the contract has fallen 23%.

The three-month copper price on the London Metal Exchange (CMCU3) fell 3.1% to $2,602 per tonne. This is a 19% decrease from Oct. 18, when it reached its highest level since July 2008.

The CZCcv1 thermal coal futures contract was the most traded on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange. It fell 13% to 1,033.8 Yuan ($161.47) per ton, just shy of the daily trading limit.

According to Reuters, China’s state planner set an immediate price target on thermal coal as a direct intervention in cooling the market for this key fuel. This was despite a severe power crunch.

“It’s a market that is driven by (coal) policies. An aluminium trader stated that he doesn’t place any bets on price movements.


* ShFE Tin SSNcv1 fell to its limit, dropping 8% to 258,370 Yuan per tonne. This was its lowest level since Sept. 22, but it recovered to 262,600 Yuan per tonne at 0615 GMT, still 6.5% below. LME Tin CMSN3 fell 0.7% to $35.160 per tonne.

* The ShFE nickel SNIcv1 fell as high as 4.9% to the lowest level since Oct. 14, 143,500 Yuan per tonne. LME nickel dropped as much at 0.6% to trade close to a two-week low $19,300 per tonne.

LME copper SCMCU3 increased 1.6% to $9.704 per tonne. ShFE nickel CCFcv1 fell 0.3% to 71.725 yuan per tonne. LME zinc CMZN3 increased 1.2% to $3.376.50 per tonne.

* Click here to see the most recent news about metals and other news.