SHANGHAI, Mar. 29 (SMM) –The most actively-traded SHFE 1206 copper contract opened RMB 390/mt lower at RMB 60,370/mt Wednesday. SHFE copper prices basically moved around the opening price during the whole trading day, with a fluctuating band of RMB 200/mt and reaching a high at only RMB 60,500/mt. At the tail of trading, as LME copper prices slid to a level near USD 8,450/mt, and as the Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 2.7% to lose 2,300, SHFE copper prices declined to a low of RMB 60,080/mt. Finally, SHFE 1206 copper contract prices ended at RMB 60,110/mt, down RMB 650/mt or 1.07%. Positions and trading volumes for SHFE 1206 copper contracts decreased by 2,726 lots and 52,746 lots, respectively, while positions and trading volumes for SHFE 1207 copper contracts increased by 9,632 lots and 27,540 lots, respectively, a sign of continuous shift of the most actively-traded copper contracts. SHFE copper prices retreated again to levels near the daily moving average, extending the fluctuating trend.
SHFE copper prices fluctuated narrowly after a low open. Cargo-holders in spot copper markets were eager to move goods for cash as March ends, allowing market supply sufficient. In this context, spot copper discounts were quoted between negative RMB 280-220/mt in the morning business. Traded prices for standard-quality copper were between RMB 59,550-59,600/mt, and RMB 59,580-59,650/mt for high-quality copper. The price gap between standard- and high-quality copper was extremely small during the day, so market transactions were dominated by high-quality copper. Overall market activity, though, was restricted by month-end cash flow pressures. In the afternoon session, as SHFE copper prices continued to fall, most cargo-holders became unwilling to move goods at the lows, cutting market supply and helping them quote firm prices. Combined with limited consumption, spot copper discounts failed to narrow sharply in the afternoon, just between negative RMB 280-200/mt, but traded prices slid to between RMB 59,450-59,600/mt, with traders dominating market transactions. Market surpluses remained more pronounced in the afternoon business.