SHANGHAI, Mar. 18 (SMM) – LME zinc prices opened at USD 1,982.8/mt overnight, then dropped during Asian trading hours, falling to a new low of USD 1,970/mt. Over 90% voters supported Crimea to join Russia, in line with market expectations. Market concerns eased after LME zinc prices dipped to USD 1960.3/mt, when combined with a 0.6% growth in US February industry output, LME zinc prices leveled out, and closing at USD 1,965/mt, down USD 20/mt or 1.01%. Trading volumes increased by 1,905 lots to 11,327 lots, and total positions decreased by 2,731 lots to 312,598 lots. LME zinc inventories fell by 3,500 mt to 794,400 mt.
SHFE 1405 zinc contract prices opened high at RMB 14,695/mt on Monday evening, touching RMB 14,730/mt before dropping, and finally closing at RMB 14,670/mt, down RMB 55/mt or 0.37. Trading volumes decreased by 6,604 lots to 5,110 lots, and total positions decreased by 396 lots to 78,226 lots.
US February housing starts and construction permits will be released today. LME zinc prices are expected to move between USD 1,955-1,980/mt today, and SHFE 1405 zinc contract prices will hover between RMB 14,630-14,730/mt, with spot discounts of RMB 50-90/mt against SHFE 1405 zinc contract prices.