BEIJING, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Copper edged higher on Friday,
supported by concerns over lower mine output and a report by an
industry study group showing a widening supply deficit.
    The metal has declined 1.8 percent so far this week in
London, in what would be its fourth straight weekly fall, and
lost almost 17 percent in 2018, heading for its worst year since
2015 on fears the U.S.-China trade row will hurt demand.
    "We think markets have focused too much on the demand side
and ignored slower-than-expected mine output growth," Helen Lau,
a metals and mining analyst with Argonaut Securities, wrote in a
note.
    "The outlook for global (copper) mine supply for 4Q18 and
FY19 is quite dull," she said, adding that worker protests at
Codelco's' Chuquicamata mine in Chile may further constrain
output next year.
            
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange rose by 0.3 percent a tonne to $6,020 a tonne
as of 0511 GMT, reversing Thursday's 0.3 percent dip. 
    * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded February copper contract on
the Shanghai Futures Exchange nudged up 0.2 percent to
48,280 yuan ($7,008.48) a tonne by the end of the morning
session.
    * COPPER: The global world refined copper market showed a
168,000 tonne deficit in September, compared with a 43,000 tonne
deficit in August, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG)
said in its latest monthly bulletin.
    * CONTRACTS: Chilean state miner Codelco has agreed to sell
France's Nexans, China's Minmetals and U.S.-based
Southwire 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes of copper each from 2019 to
2021 in rolling deals known as "evergreens", sources close to
the matter said.
    * OTHER METALS: Most other base metals made modest gains in
quiet pre-holiday trade, with nickel adding 0.5 percent in
London and Shanghai aluminium climbing 0.7
percent.   
    * ALUMINIUM: Representatives from China's biggest aluminium
producers will hold a meeting on Friday in the southern region
of Guangxi to discuss slumping demand and low prices, said three
sources familiar with the matter.