SHANGHAI, Jun. 5 (SMM) – Dampened by a decline in LME copper prices, the most active SHFE copper contract started lower at RMB 48,500/mt, swinging by less than RMB 100/mt, during Tuesday’s night session. Prices for the contract dipped as low as RMB 48,420/mt, and closed down RMB 190/mt at RMB 48,480/mt. During the night session, traded volumes fell slightly to around 60,000 lots, while positions gained 1,368 lots. On Wednesday, SHFE copper prices tested support at the RMB 48,000/mt mark during the morning trading session due to a broad selloff. The red metal narrowed losses to hover narrowly around RMB 48,100/mt during the afternoon trading session, and ended down RMB 550/mt, or 1.13%, at RMB 48,120/mt on Wednesday. Traded volumes for the most active contract added 130,000 lots, while positions expanded 12,928 lots. Meanwhile, traded volumes and positions for the SHFE 1409 copper contract increased 47,538 and 12,574 lots, respectively. SHFE copper prices have broken below the 20-day moving average and are likely to trend lower for the near term due to increasing sell-offs of SHFE back-month copper contracts and negative technical indicators.
In the Shanghai physical market, copper was quoted Wednesday at a RMB 320-500/mt premium over the SHFE front-month copper contract. Traded prices were RMB 49,900-49,980/mt for standard-quality copper and RMB 50,000-50,100/mt for high-quality copper. As SHFE copper prices fell sharply Wednesday, proportion of imported copper was still rather limited, with the overall copper supply down. In this context, physical premiums held firm and rallied after SHFE copper prices dropped further. Some speculators entered the market to purchase physical copper and sell copper futures contracts, while downstream producers continued to take a wait-and-see stance at prices above RMB 50,000/mt. A majority of transactions were done among middlemen, with the market still dominated by cautious sentiment on Wednesday. As SHFE copper prices continued to hover at low levels during the afternoon trading session, physical premiums remained high. Although high-quality copper prices were essentially unchanged, the price gap between high-quality and standard-quality copper narrowed. Copper was largely offered at a RMB 350-500/mt premium and traded at RMB 49,900-50,080/mt on Wednesday.