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Copper Prices Continued to Rebound amid Tight Supply in China
Aug 1, 2022 11:01CST
Last week, the US Fed raised the interest rate by 75 basis points as expected.

SHANGHAI, Aug 1 (SMM) - Last week, the US Fed raised the interest rate by 75 basis points as expected. At the subsequent press conference, Powell said that the Fed would slow down the rate hike in the future. Therefore, the market concluded that US inflation had reached its peak in June and that the Fed might slow down the rate hike in September with the fall in inflation. As a result, the US dollar index dropped rapidly, and US stocks rose by nearly 3% over night. Risk assets generally closed up, and the market was full of bullish sentiment. In China, the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee held a meeting, which set the tone of steady and safe economic development in the second half of 2022. Under the background of global tightening monetary policy and the economic recession, the Chinese government will make great efforts to ensure the development of the domestic real estate industry. China's efforts are crucial, especially when the world is in the early stage of economic recession. Despite the Fed's dovish attitude in the short term, it still cannot underestimate the Fed's determination to suppress inflation by sacrificing economic growth. The market shall pay attention to a series of important data such as CPI data in early August, and whether the Fed will stick to its dovish stance.

On the fundamentals, inventories across China were decreasing rapidly, which strongly supported the rebound of copper prices. The main reasons for the decline were that the imported copper failed to flow smoothly into the domestic market when the import window opened, and the domestic smelters were under maintenance. Meanwhile, owing to the tight supply of blister copper in some smelters, the output decreased slightly. As for the consumption, the overall performance was not encouraging, but the short-term narrow spread between the copper cathode and copper scrap supported the copper cathode consumption to some extent.

Overall, the slight easing of the bearish factors on the macro front and the tight spot supply in China are the important driving forces for the rebound of copper prices. Before the US Fed's interest rate meeting in September and the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in the second half of 2022, copper prices will rise further under the support of fundamentals. The most-traded SHFE 2209 copper contract is expected to move between 59,000-61,500 yuan/mt, and LME copper will trade between $7,700-8,000/mt.

In the spot market, although the SHFE/LME price ratio improved slightly, the inventory and absolute price still remained low. Traders held firm to their prices when the SHFE warrants were less than 8,000 mt. It is expected that the buyers and sellers will wrestle centring the price level, and the market shall keep an eye on the fluctuation in the spread between the front-month and next-month contracts and the change of premiums based on the SHFE/LME price ratio. The spot premiums are expected to move between 250-400 yuan/mt this week.


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