| The electrolytic copper price moved up slightly assisted by the expectations for the progress in the trade talks going on between the US and China, rising $18 per ton on the 13th February, on the spot market basis, to $6,120 per ton while the three months lifted $11.5 per tons to $6,130 per ton respectively.
The raises seems to be reflective of the possibilities to extend the trade talks which was originally set to close on March 1, and on the outlook for President Xi to meet the US delegation on the 15th February. Furthermore, the LME backlogged inventories webbed in five trading days, and the spot price for the three months registered $10 contango, affecting the price trend to rebound. The tighter supply on the maintenance of Chile-based refineries also towed up the electrolytic copper price, the market analysts mentioned.
Nonetheless, the concerns about the slowing economy in China continue and the outlook that the price is likely go downside in the first quarter on the lack of Chinese demand prevails.
Meanwhile, US consumer spending index remained flattened in January and the inflationary pressure will be more moderated than the market forecast that the spending would go up 0.1 percent earlier. Therefore, the strengthening US dollar has limited the pace of growth of electrolytic copper price in the face of the attenuating burden from the further increases of the rate by the Fed. Meanwhile, the premium on the imported copper is expected to become softer in China. According to the Shanghai Metal Market, the first quarter demand constraints in China as well as the squeezed contango of the LME electrolytic copper value will propel the weakness in the electrolytic copper premium in China, turning into downside on the near-term perspective basis.
On February 13, Yangshan’s electrolytic copper premium posted $59~74 per ton, remained unchanged since after the Spring Festival holidays. However, the copper ore concentrate TC showed weak by $7 lower than the prior level of $84 to the Spring Festival.
Source: Steel&Metal News