SHANGHAI, Mar. 3 (SMM) – SHFE 1405 copper contract prices started lower at RMB 49,230/mt in last Thursday’s night session due to prevailing bearish sentiment in the market. The contract prices later sank to an intraday low of RMB 48,930/mt, and finally closed at RMB 49,210/mt. During the night session, positions decreased over 2,000 lots, and the market remained in an oversold condition. During day trading on Friday, SHFE 1405 copper contract prices hit a high of RMB 49,490/mt, but dropped to RMB 49,030/mt due to depreciation of RMB and declines in Chinese stock market. The May-delivery copper on SHFE finally finished the session at RMB 49,280/mt, down RMB 60/mt or 0.12%. Traded volumes shrank by 41,286 lots to 387,000 lots, and positions fell 6,900 lots to 302,000 lots. Investors were cautious before the release of China’s official manufacturing PMI and the NPC and CPPCC sessions.
Spot copper in Shanghai was offered at discounts of RMB 120-280/mt against the most active SHFE copper contract prices on Friday. Standard-quality copper was sold at RMB 48,900-49,150/mt, and high-quality copper at RMB 48,980-49,260/mt. Supply remained ample, and sellers of high-quality copper no long held prices firm. Traders showed limited buying interest. With RMB weakening to about 6.19 per dollar, and SHFE copper prices falling by around RMB 200/mt, the market again came under selling pressure. Spot discounts for high-quality copper thus expanded, but those for standard-quality copper narrowed as some downstream buyers went bargain-hunting. Spot discounts may narrow next week as cargo holders will be in no rush to sell at the beginning of a new month. During the afternoon trading session, SHFE copper prices rebounded slightly, but trading activity was light. Spot copper in Guixi traded at broader discounts of RMB 150/mt, and discounts of standard-quality copper also expanded to RMB 280-300/mt. SHFE copper inventories increased 4,175 mt to 198,286 mt, indicative of growing supply.