Shanghai-bonded copper, zinc stocks rise in December due to closed import arbitrage window; nickel stocks fall

Copper stocks at Shanghai-bonded warehouses rose in December from a month earlier after sustained losses in the import arbitrage between the London Metal Exchange and Shanghai Futures Exchange drove Chinese smelters to export copper, some of which entered the bonded zone.

Zinc stocks also recorded a month-on-month increase for similar reasons, while nickel inventories declined on domestic stainless steel mills’ restocking activities ahead of Chinese New Year (February 4-10). Aluminium stocks were flat compared with November’s assessment. Copper stocks up 6% from Nov on persistent import arb losses Shanghai-bonded copper stocks continued to increase last month after rising in November, with persistent import losses between the LME and SHFE denting buying interest in the domestic market and encouraging Chinese copper smelters to export their material – some of which ended up in the bonded zone. Shanghai-bonded copper stocks increased to 423,000-428,000 tonnes at the end of December, up by 6% compared with previous month but down by 9% from the same month of 2017, according to Fastmarkets MB’s latest assessment. Market participants attributed last month’s increase to the sustained import losses between the LME and SHFE, which has persisted since the end of September....


Ellie Wang

Anna Xu

Violet Li

Hui Li

January 07, 2019

02:45 GMT