SHANGHAI, Apr. 14 (SMM) – SHFE copper prices fell to as low as RMB 46,260/mt after starting at RMB 46,430/mt, but then encountered resistance at RMB 46,490/mt during Thursday’s night session. The red metal closed up RMB 220/mt at RMB 46,440/mt. Traded volumes fell further to around 120,000 lots, while positions increased by 7,484 lots. On Friday, SHFE copper prices fell to find support at RMB 46,200/mt, and later rebounded to RMB 46,350/mt. The red metal followed LME copper prices up during the afternoon trading session to as high as RMB 46,850/mt and finished up RMB 520/mt, or 1.13%, at RMB 46,740/mt. Traded volumes shed by 44,298 lots, and positions expanded by 4,708 lots.
In the Shanghai physical market, copper was offered Friday at premiums of RMB 200-280/mt over the SHFE current-month copper contract price. Traded prices were RMB 47,350-47,430/mt for standard-quality copper and RMB 47,400-47,480/mt for high-quality copper. As SHFE copper prices rebounded slightly and the price gap between the SHFE 1404 copper contract and the SHFE 1405 copper contract hovered around RMB 400/mt, cargo holders continued to push up physical copper premiums. Hydro-copper was barely found in the market. Middlemen entered the market to purchase copper, while downstream producers had higher buying interest as well ahead of the weekends, with a smaller amount of copper supply. Physical premiums rose further by the midday due to decreasing supply, and trading activity also improved slightly on Friday. Cargo holders turned more bullish after SHFE copper prices rallied by nearly RMB 500/mt, and when combined with a wider RMB 500/mt price gap between the SHFE copper contracts drove up physical premiums during the afternoon trading hours. Those in need of delivering goods for long-term orders purchased a large amount of copper in the market, causing shortages of physical supply. High-quality copper was sparsely offered at premiums of RMB 270-350/mt, and traded prices rose accordingly. Some cargo holders intended to push premiums up to above RMB 500/mt, but transactions were rare, while downstream producers held a wait-and-see posture. The SHFE reported continuous declines in copper inventories, down further 29,699 mt to 142,671 mt, since downstream purchased in larger volumes and imported copper was hindered.