SHANGHAI, Apr. 18 (SMM) – The most active SHFE copper contract price started Wednesday’s night session higher at RMB 46,730/mt, boosted by a rally in LME copper prices, and later surrendered some gains to end up RMB 430/mt at RMB 46,500/mt. Traded volumes held steady at around 210,000 lots, while positions added 4,094 lots. The red metal suffered resistance at RMB 46,700/mt on Thursday, and subsequently tracked LME copper prices down to an intraday low of RMB 46,370/mt. SHFE copper prices at last finished up RMB 470/mt, or 1.02%, at RMB 46,540/mt. Traded volumes shed 106,000 lots, and positions gained 5,088 lots. SHFE copper prices have rebounded above the 5-day moving average, with longs and shorts struggling at RMB 46,500/mt. With the lack of guidance from LME copper prices, the SHFE/LME copper arbitrage ratio is expected to improve in the next two trading days.
In the Shanghai physical market, copper was offered Thursday at a RMB 580-720/mt premium to the SHFE current-month contract. Traded prices were RMB 47,720-47,820/mt for standard-quality copper and RMB 47,800-47,920/mt for high-quality copper. As SHFE copper prices rebounded, cargo holders continued to push up physical premiums on a view that supply will remain comparatively tight this week. Some speculators still entered the market to purchase goods, but downstream producers sat tight temporarily, leaving traded volumes less than Wednesday’s level. After SHFE copper prices fell back during the afternoon trading hours, cargo holders continued to drive up physical premiums, with supplies down. Standard-quality copper was barely quoted, and high-quality copper prevailed in the market, with Guixi brand offered at a RMB 750/mt premium to the nearby SHFE contract. Copper was mostly offered at a RMB 650-730/mt premium and was sold between RMB 47,750-47,950/mt, with slower trading activity. Some middlemen sold off goods at the tail of the trading when prices were high, helping inflate physical supply.