SHANGHAI, Apr. 8 (SMM) – The most active SHFE copper prices hovered between RMB 46,200-46,500/mt after starting at RMB 46,430/mt and ended down RMB 30/mt at RMB 46,380/mt during Thursday’s night session. Traded volumes fell slightly to around 150,000 lots, while positions were basically unchanged. On Friday, SHFE copper prices gradually leveled off after starting and later continued to bounce back, helped by a rebound in the Shanghai Composite during the afternoon trading session. The red metal tested a high of RMB 46,760/mt at the tail of the trading, and finished Friday up RMB 280/mt, or 0.6%, at RMB 46,690/mt. Traded volumes fell by 159,000 lots, and positions contracted by 13,774 lots for the most active SHFE copper contract. SHFE copper prices have climbed above the 5-day moving average on Friday, with a sign of risk aversion before the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday.
In the Shanghai physical market, copper was offered Friday at a premium of RMB 250-340/mt over the SHFE current-month copper contract prices. Traded prices were RMB 47,150-47,370/mt for standard-quality copper and RMB 47,200-47,430/mt for high-quality copper. As SHFE copper prices bounced back, cargo holders continued to push up spot premiums. Prices for standard-quality copper and hydro-copper were firm due to short supply, and moved closer to those for high-quality copper. As spot premiums rose above RMB 300/mt and the price gap between the SHFE 1404 copper contract and the SHFE 1405 copper contract widened, the market saw an increasing amount of copper supply. Middlemen rarely entered the market due to caution towards spot premiums in the near term, as well as to avoid risks before the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday. Downstream producers purchased goods Friday only on an as-needed basis, with moderate trading volumes. As SHFE copper prices rallied further in the afternoon trading session, price gap between SHFE 1404 copper contract and SHFE 1405 copper contract continued to hover around RMB 200/mt, with physical copper trading at high premiums. Physical premiums for standard-quality copper held firm above RMB 300/mt, while mainstream premiums were offered between RMB 280-330/mt, with traded prices up to RMB 47,400-47,450/mt. Some middlemen entered markets, with trading activity improving slightly, but physical copper was barely found at the tail of the trading. The Shanghai Futures Exchange reported that copper inventories fell sharply by 21,355 mt to 172,370 mt this week. The majority of imported copper piled up in bonded warehouses due to the unfavorable SHFE/LME copper price ratio, while domestic copper smelters exported some copper supplies, causing heavy losses in copper inflows.