SHANGHAI, Apr. 16 (SMM) – The most active SHFE copper contract price swung by less than RMB 200/mt after starting Monday’s night session at RMB 46,790/mt, meeting resistance at RMB 46,840/mt, and ended up RMB 40/mt at RMB 46,730/mt. Traded volumes fell to around 160,000 lots, while positions rose by 2,050 lots, with slower trading activity. SHFE copper prices rallied Tuesday to 47,800/mt, boosted by the SHFE current-month copper contract price, but later followed LME copper prices down to RMB 46,300/mt. The red metal hovered narrowly below RMB 46,500/mt during the afternoon trading hours, and finished down RMB 130/mt, or 0.28%, at RMB 46,560/mt. Traded volumes for the most active SHFE copper contract shed 159,000 lots, and positions lost 13,236 lots. SHFE copper prices should remain range-bound for the near term with mixed technical indicators.
In the Shanghai physical market, copper was offered Tuesday at discounts of RMB 150-300/mt over SHFE current-month copper contract prices. Traded prices were RMB 47,500-47,750/mt for standard-quality copper and RMB 47,600-47,880/mt for high-quality copper. Although SHFE copper prices gradually fell back, the price gap between SHFE 1404 and 1405 copper contracts still hovered at a high of RMB 800/mt. This, combined with the improved SHFE/LME arbitrage ratio, drew inflows of imported copper, which aggravated oversupply of physical copper in the market. Consequently, physical copper was quoted at discounts, and the discounts later expanded. After the price gap between SHFE 1404 and 1405 copper contracts narrowed to around RMB 600/mt, some speculators entered the market to purchase goods on a bullish sentiment towards physical premiums after the delivery date. As SHFE copper prices swung narrowly during the afternoon trading hours, cargo holders turned bullish on prices after the delivery date. Spot copper supply decreased, with imported brands prevailing in the market, causing volatility in copper discounts. Physical discounts initially were offered at RMB 120-200/mt, but narrowed to RMB 40-100/mt at the tail of the trading, with traded prices in the RMB 47,600-47,780/mt band. Some speculators still entered the market to purchase goods, while downstream producers remained on the sidelines before the delivery. Most investors expect physical premiums to be elevated on Wednesday.