SHANGHAI, May 18 (SMM) – As LME copper remained feeble overnight, SHFE 1208 copper contract opened RMB 130/mt down at RMB 55,120/mt Thursday. As the Shanghai Composite Index surged by 1.5%, and as LME copper prices rallied to around USD 7,800/mt, SHFE 1208 copper contract increased after testing RMB 55,000/mt temporarily and sliding to RMB 54,920/mt, and expanded the daily gains in the afternoon. SHFE 1208 copper contract soared to a high at RMB 55,770/mt and finally ended at RMB 55,730/mt, up RMB 470/mt or 0.85%. SHFE 1209 copper contract started at RMB 54,900/mt, touching a low at RMB 54,650/mt and a high at RMB 55,510/mt before finally settling at RMB 55,420/mt, up RMB 410/mt or 0.75%. Positions and trading volumes for SHFE 1208 copper contract decreased by 40,924 lots and 114,000 lots, respectively, while those for SHFE 1209 copper contract added by 20,640 lots and 102,000 lots, respectively. SHFE 1209 copper contract became the most active copper contract before the midday. SHFE copper prices made corrections following significant drops, but long investors kept cautious toward operation and short investors still imposed great pressures at around RMB 55,500/mt. In this context, SHFE copper prices will remain weak for the foreseeable future.
SHFE copper prices rallied from the previous lows. Cargo-holders in spot markets became unwilling to move goods at the lows, helping spot copper premium quotes rise sharply to positive RMB 180-250/mt in Shanghai in the morning business. Traded prices for standard-quality copper were between RMB 55,700-55,900/mt, and RMB 55,750-55,970/mt for high-quality copper. Downstream producers bought aggressively at prices below RMB 56,000/mt, but chose to stand on the sidelines after copper prices climbed rapidly near the midday. In this context, spot copper premiums also inched down in the morning session, and market transactions were also restricted. In the afternoon business, SHFE copper prices expanded gains, so spot copper premiums slid further, with quotes for high-quality copper reported at around positive RMB 200/mt. Traded prices rose to RMB 56,150-56,300/mt in the afternoon, but downstream producer buying interest cooled.