Copper stocks in Shanghai-bonded warehouses were at 500,000-510,000 tonnes on Monday March 26, up from 460,000-470,000 tonnes a month earlier, according to Metal Bulletin's assessment.
Import arbitrage opportunities before the Chinese New Year holiday in mid-February had led to metal arrivals in March, market participants said.
The copper import loss was as low as $13.54 per tonne on February 12, according to Metal Bulletin’s calculation. This could have been profitable for some importers, depending on their costs. The import arbitrage stood at $101.07 per tons on March 29.
High operating rates among Chinese copper refiners and slow domestic consumption also saw no need for bonded stocks to be moved to the domestic market, a Shanghai-based trader said.
But some noted that the upward trend for Chinese stocks could soon end with the import arbitrage window closed and the market entering the peak season for demand during...