SHANGHAI, June 16 (SMM) – In the Shanghai physical market, copper was offered Monday at a RMB 200-400/mt discount over the SHFE front-month copper contract. Traded prices were RMB 48,820-48,920/mt for standard-quality copper and RMB 48,900-49,160/mt for high-quality copper. The price gap between the SHFE 1406 and 1407 copper contracts still hovered around RMB 800/mt, and the SHFE/LME copper price ratio also improved appreciably. Prices for imported standard-quality copper traded at high discounts, standing as much as RMB 200/mt below those for high-quality copper. Some middlemen later entered the market to purchase low-price standard-quality copper to meet demand from long-term orders. This decreased standard-quality copper supply, causing physical discounts to narrow slightly. High-quality copper, however, still traded at high discounts, with quite trading activity. A small number of speculators bought physical copper and sold off futures contracts, and downstream producers mostly stayed on the sidelines before the delivery date due Tuesday. Physical copper is expected to trade at high premiums on Tuesday following the expiration of the SHFE 1406 lead contract.