GLOBAL COPPER WRAP: Premiums lower in Shanghai; arbitrage keeps US spike short lived

Copper premiums in Shanghai dropped over the week ended on Tuesday May 21, with a slew of deals for SX-EW cathodes at low levels, while the spike in premiums in the United States may not last if key smelters return to the market.

• Shanghai premiums drop down to two-year lows
• US premiums pushed down while Comex copper trades at a small discount to the London Metal Exchange
• European premiums stable on slack demand
US copper premium steady amid continuing price arbitrage
The US copper cathode premium held steady week on week at 7.5-8 cents per lb delivered to the Midwest on Tuesday May 21, with the price arbitrage still open between the LME and the CME making it difficult to attract additional metal into the country.
"There is pressure on the premiums," a trader told Fastmarkets, noting that lower Comex prices compared to the LME is working against bringing metal to the US market.
CME Group copper stocks stood at 31,893 short tons, whereas the New Orleans LME warehouse stood at 28,450 metric tons at the close on May 21.

The supply crunch, exacerbated by the price arbitrage, and an...


Ellie Wang

Hassan Butt

Rijuta Dey Bera

May 22, 2019

11:45 GMT

London, Shanghai, New York