China copper smelters turn to exports on emergence of arbitrage opportunity

Chinese copper smelters with tolling licenses have begun to export copper cathodes due to the emergence of an export arbitrage window between London and Shanghai, sources told Fastmarkets.

The arbitrage window started to become viable in the latter part of last week, with the copper price on the London Metal Exchange strongly outperforming its counterpart on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
The LME three-month copper price closed the week to April 23 at $9,518 per tonne, up by 2.2% week on week, compared with a smaller gain of 1.2% for the SHFE front-month copper contract, which finished the week at 69,240 yuan per tonne.
“The export arb window opened from late last week based on our calculations, [and] we did some exports,” a smelter source said, without specifying the tonnages.

“[The Chinese] domestic spot market is...

Published

Sally Zhang

April 28, 2021

10:03 GMT

Shanghai