SHANGHAI, Mar. 13 (SMM) – SHFE base metals staged relatively weak performance on March 12, with SHFE copper and zinc prices basically fluctuating near current levels in the morning. However, SHFE copper and zinc prices dived at the closing in the morning. The most active SHFE 1306 copper contract finally closed 0.6% down, and the most active SHFE 1306 zinc contract settled 0.49% lower.
The latest SMM survey of 21 major Chinese copper wire rod producers displayed that 47% of producers expect copper prices to hover near current levels for the foreseeable future. They said that post-holiday copper prices experienced considerable drops owing to US fiscal deficit reduction, Italian election, and tighter Chinese housing controls, but are likely to consolidate at current levels as the impact from these unfavorable factors abates.
According to the NBS, China's refined copper output during February was 483,000 mt, the lowest level since mid-2012, and flat with level seen in July 2012. In contrast, copper output was 492,000 mt in January, and reached a record high of 580,000 mt in December 2012. Therefore, copper output at domestic copper smelters dropped slightly in February.