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Copper a hot commodity

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by Daily Commercial News

Shanghai has reported a dramatic rise in thefts of copper water meters in the latest sign that China’s racing economy is spurring voracious demand for metals and other commodities.

SHANGHAI, CHINA

Shanghai has reported a dramatic rise in thefts of copper water meters in the latest sign that China’s racing economy is spurring voracious demand for metals and other commodities.

Shanghai Southern Waterworks Co. said it lost 563 of the bulky meters over the first four months of the year, compared with just 77 over the same period last year.

Chinese demand is driving a boom in copper’s price, which hit a record US$4 a pound last year. The commodity is so intimately linked with demand in China that the price dipped last month on concerns Beijing may try to curb its booming economy.

Scrap dealers are offering up to US$6.50 each for them, more than most migrant workers make in a day.

While meter thefts have only recently emerged as a concern, thefts of other public infrastructure — from telephone wires to manhole covers — for resale as scrap have long been a problem in China.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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