SHANGHAI, Mar. 8 (SMM) – With LME copper prices extending losses overnight, the most active SHFE 1306 copper contract opened RMB 310/mt down at RMB 56,560/mt Thursday. The contract suffered resistance at the 5-day moving average following the opening and touched a high at merely RMB 56,600/mt. SHFE copper prices basically fluctuated at lows during the day and came under pressure at the daily moving average, with a low at RMB 56,240/mt. However, SHFE 1306 copper contract followed LME copper to pare some of declines at the tail of trading, and closed RMB 340/mt or 0.6% lower at RMB 56,530/mt, with trading volumes and positions down 6,476 lots and 1,390 lots, respectively. Total trading volumes for all SHFE copper contracts increased by 2,260 lots, and total positions added by 9,472 lots. As long and short investors shifted to the sidelines at prices above RMB 56,000/mt, SHFE copper prices will continue to consolidate at lows for the near future.
SHFE copper prices fell sharply and caused hedged copper to flow into spot markets. Spot copper cargo-holders offered slight premiums, which, however, were resisted by markets. With copper prices rallying from lows, market sale volumes increased. In this context, premiums for high-quality copper turned to discounts, and discounts for standard-quality copper expanded. Mainstream spot copper offers were quoted between discounts RMB 80/mt and premiums 20/mt in the morning business. Traded prices for standard-quality copper were between RMB 56,180-56,280/mt, and RMB 56,240-56,380/mt for high-quality copper. Most traders chose to stand on the sidelines, while some downstream producers stepped up purchases at lows. Overall market activity remained muted, though. In the afternoon, SHFE copper prices extended weakness, but spot copper offers were little changed from morning levels, largely between discounts RMB 70/mt and premiums 30/mt. Traded prices were RMB 56,150-56,300/mt in the afternoon.