Copper had an eventful last week of April, hitting a one-month high before descending to a four-week low on Tuesday (May 1).

Near the end of April, copper hit its highest in a month at US$6,986 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange, but fell to US$6,710 on Tuesday (May 1), its lowest price since April 4. The red metal closed at US$6,745 on Tuesday, down 0.9 percent.

Analysts say that the copper price decline was due to concerns about demand from China, where traditionally demand picks up heading into the second quarter of the year.

"We think construction activity is going to be more subdued this year because of the curbs on lending by the Chinese government to control the property market bubble,” said Caroline Bain of Capital Economics.

Another factor impacting prices was a stronger US dollar in the lead up to a US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting on interest rates. A decision is due to be announced on Wednesday (May 2).

According to FocusEconomics‘ latest report, copper prices are likely to bump along below the US$7,000 level this year, after performing ahead of fundamentals at the end of 2017.

Supply is expected to rise slightly on new projects and the resumption of operations in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), although longer-term copper output in the DRC could be negatively affected by a recently revised mining law.

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