Chinese copper inventories soared to record amounts of 1.9 million tons in the end of 2010, Bloomberg reports.
The total marks roughly three-months-worth of consumption and the publication attributes the accumulation to increased purchasing of the reddish metal as prices dropped. The Asian nation is the globe's top producer and consumer of the industrial metal.
"Most of the inventories should belong to state reserves, and they won't be easily released onto the market," research department head Cai Luoyi with Shanghai CIFCO Futures told Bloomberg. "The reserves may be a result of stockpiling after the price tumbled in 2008."
At 7:38 a.m. on Thursday, copper futures decreased 2.12 percent, a 7.2 cent slide to $3.3215 per pound.
Reuters reports the price of the industrial metal is suffering from shaky economic times in the euro zone and in the U.S., both of which are driving down prices. Demand for copper from China also is slowing, which worries investors since the Asian nation is the consumer of 33 percent of the globe's supply of the reddish metal.
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