SHANGHAI, Apr. 17 (SMM) – SHFE copper prices gapped lower at RMB 45,870/mt, dented by a slide in LME copper prices, and ended down RMB 460/mt, or 1%, at RMB 46,150/mt during Tuesday’s night session. Traded volumes and positions for the most active SHFE copper contract added 300,000 lots and 4,414 lots, respectively, while positions for the SHFE 1408 copper contract gained 13,714 lots. SHFE copper prices started Wednesday at RMB 46,150/mt, and then rallied to RMB 46,300/mt, boosted by the higher-than-expected China’s Q1 GDP, finding support between RMB 46,000-46,150/mt. The red metal hovered most of the trading day narrowly around RMB 46,200/mt, and finished down RMB 430/mt, or 0.92%, at RMB 46,180/mt. Traded volumes rose 60,874 lots to 484,000 lots, while positions shed over 500 lots to 290,000 lots. It was worth noting that positions for the SHFE 1408 copper contract expanded 19,426 lots to 170,000 lots on Wednesday. The SHFE 1407 and 1408 copper contract prices both fell sharply, encountering resistance at the 10-day moving average, with additional technical indicators in negative territory.
In the Shanghai physical market, copper was offered Wednesday at a RMB 480-600/mt premium to the nearby SHFE contract. Traded prices were RMB 47,340-47,420/mt for standard-quality copper and RMB 47,420-47,520/mt for high-quality copper. China’s Q1 GDP came in as disappointing as expected, while SHFE copper prices also followed LME copper prices down sharply. Cargo holders pushed up physical premiums to highs again. Middlemen barely entered the market with limited room for speculation, while downstream producers ramped up purchases, helping improve transactions. As SHFE copper prices consolidated narrowly during the afternoon trading session, physical copper was offered at a slightly higher premium of RMB 500-620/mt, but traded prices remained basically unchanged. Trading activity, however, slowed during the same period. Cargo holders were disinclined to trade in bulk to push up copper premiums higher, though most held that sustained high premiums were subject to supply. Premiums in the Guangdong market significantly narrowed to RMB 400-500/mt, and are unlikely to be elevated in the near term due to an increasing amount of copper supply. Premiums in the Shanghai market, however, will remain high this week.