SPOTLIGHT: What is causing the tightness in the Shanghai copper market?

China’s domestic copper market is extremely tight, which has not only boosted Shanghai copper premiums but also supported copper futures.

Bonded stocks in Shanghai moved down to between 720,000 and 750,000 tonnes on July 4 compared with over 800,000 tonnes at the end of May, copper traders in China estimated.
“Traders are keen to get ocean-shipped copper these days,” one commodity trader told Metal Bulletin. “Even though the premium for material supported by a bill of lading has already climbed above $130, it is still very hard to find any bills of lading in the market.”
While in-warehouse premiums in Shanghai climbed to $110-120 per tonne on Friday July 4, from $100-110 earlier in the week, cif premiums for material supported by bills of lading are trading at higher levels.
This is because the latter are more readily acceptable as collateral, market sources explained, even though unloading and storage costs are not included in such a premium.
So what is causing the tightness?

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Metal NM

July 04, 2014

17:19 GMT