LONDON (Commodity Online): Bad news emanating from the US may impact copper prices and demand in the coming months even though China's still hungry for the metal.

US durable goods order was dismal after witnessing the decline in consumer confidence earlier this week. The negative impact of the news is expected to soften copper. The commerce department said that the durable goods fell by 1.0 percent in June following a revised 0.8 percent decrease in May. Meanwhile, Fed Beige Book report released on Thursday said that the economic activity in US has continued to grow though the pace of the demand is slow.

The LME stockpiles declined for yet another session on Wednesday and brought buyers back in the markets. Copper inventories were down by 2375 tonnes to 411425 tonnes. In 2010, the inventories are down by 90975 tonnes or 18% till date.

In another news, operational costs at Chile's 11 largest copper producers during Q1 saw an average increase of 20% year-on-year. The largest increase was registered by Anglo American Chile, the local subsidiary of the London-based diversified resources group Anglo American, which posted a 78% rise compared to the first quarter of 2009 to $561mn.

Chile's copper output fell 0.6 percent in June from the same month a year earlier. In May, Chile's copper output dropped 5.4 percent from the same month in 2009.

Chile's copper industry, the backbone of its economy, emerged virtually unscathed from a February 27 earthquake that killed hundreds of people and battered the wood pulp, fishing, fruit and wine industries. (Source: India Infoline)