SHANGHAI, Mar. 12 (SMM) – Pressured by massive sell-offs, SHFE copper prices dipped to RMB 45,560/mt after gapping lower at RMB 46,120/mt, and finished down RMB 1,660/mt at RMB 46,600/mt in Monday’s night trading session. During the night session, positions shrunk by 9,786 lots, and trading volumes totaled 260,544 lots for the most active SHFE copper contract. Positions surged by 35,528 lots, and trading volumes amounted to 252,880 lots for the SHFE 1406 copper contract. The most active SHFE copper contract shifted to the SHFE 1406 copper contract after both long and short investors liquidated positions in large scale. SHFE copper prices later rallied to RMB 46,600/mt after gaining support at RMB 45,560/mt, and hovered mostly around RMB 46,300/mt at the tail of the trading. The red metal ended down RMB 1,010/mt, or 2.14% at FMB 46,240/mt. SHFE 1406 copper contract prices opened on Tuesday at RMB 46,300/mt, reaching as low as RMB 45,330/mt and as high as RMB 46,570/mt, and closed down RMB 1,080/mt, or 2.28% at RMB 46,190/mt. Trading volumes increased by 107,000 lots, and positions decreased by 49,500 lots for SHFE 1405 copper contracts, while trading volumes gained 379,000 lots, and positions rose by 53,980 lots for SHFE 1406 copper contracts on Tuesday. SHFE copper prices should brace for higher volatility in the future.
In the Shanghai physical market, copper was offered on Tuesday at a discount of RMB 20-160/mt over SHFE current-month copper contract. Traded prices were RMB 45,680-46,200/mt for standard-quality copper and RMB 45,740-46,300/mt for high-quality copper. As SHFE copper stabilized, hedged copper supply continued to flock into physical markets, leaving spot copper still trading at a discount. With brisk inquiries in the morning, trading activity recovered. Price gap between standard-quality copper and high-quality copper widened to around RMB 100/mt, and investors favored standard-quality copper and hydro-copper. SHFE copper prices later rebounded by nearly RMB 300/mt, and price gap between SHFE distant-month contracts and SHFE current-month contracts expanded to more than RMB 100/mt, causing cargo holders to hold prices firm. Middlemen thus purchase spot copper and sell off futures contract actively, while downstream producers were increasingly willing to hunt for bargains, with a pickup in trading activity. Spot copper prices hovered between RMB 45,000-46,000/mt on Tuesday. As SHFE copper prices continued to stabilize in the afternoon trading session, cargo holders were more willing to hold prices firm, with high-quality copper trading at a discount of RMB 50/mt and a premium of RMB 60/mt. At the tail of the trading, spot copper was quoted at a discount of RMB 20-80/mt, but downstream produces still had buying interest, driving prices up to RMB 46,100-46,250/mt on Tuesday.