SHANGHAI, Mar. 7 (SMM) – The most active SHFE copper contract started RMB 10/mt higher at RMB 49,230/mt, and then rose as high as RMB 49,430/mt at Wednesday’s night session. The red metal later fell to RMB 48,970/mt, hovering around RMB 49,240/mt, and finally closed down RMB 170/mt at RMB 49,140/mt. During the night session, trading volumes shrunk by more than 238,000 lots, and positions expanded by over 7,000 mt. SHFE copper prices opened at RMB 49,210/mt on Thursday, and later slipped to an intraday day low of RMB 48,970/mt due to the lack of impetus. During the afternoon trading session, SHFE copper rallied to RMB 49,260/mt, and finished down RMB 170/mt or 0.34% at RMB 49,140/mt. Trading volumes shed 75,574 lots to 255,000 lots, and positions decreased 2,546 lots to 275,000 lots. Positions for SHFE 1406 copper contract rose 12,926 lots to 193,000 lots, and the contract is likely to become the most active SHFE copper contract next week. SHFE copper prices faced resistance at the 10-day moving average, but found support at the 5-day moving average on Thursday.
In the Shanghai physical market, copper was offered Thursday at discounts of RMB 80-160/mt over the most active SHFE copper contract. Traded prices were RMB 48,760-48,960/mt for standard-quality copper and RMB 48,800-49,060/mt for high-quality copper. SHFE continued to fall on Thursday to approach a low of RMB 49,000/mt, with massive sell-offs on the market. Discounts of high-quality copper were lowered to around RMB 100/mt, but standard-quality copper was still held firm. Price gap between high-quality copper and standard-quality copper even narrowed to RMB 20-30/mt, and trading for high-quality copper was brisk due to middlemen speculators. SHFE 1403 copper contract later fell below the RMB 49,000/mt mark, and an increasing number of downstream producers went bargain-hunting. Most investors sold off goods intensively on a bearish view towards copper prices, presaging that the overhang of copper supply is unlikely to improve in the near term. Driven by an uptick in SHFE copper prices during the afternoon trading hours, traded prices for high-quality copper bounced back above RMB 49,000/mt, leaving spot discounts narrowing to RMB 60-80/mt. Standard-quality copper, however, traded below RMB 49,000/mt, with discounts of RMB 120-140/mt, but some downstream producers still had buying interest.