GLOBAL COPPER WRAP: Chinese, US premiums diverge massively

Copper premiums in China and the United States have parted ways this week, though an actual shift of copper cathode to the western hemisphere has yet to take place.

Shanghai premiums sink to 9-year low
Chinese premiums for copper cathode imported into the country sank to their lowest level since 2012 in the week to Tuesday May 11, and trading sentiment is very low amid unfavorable import conditions.
Chinese participants returned to the market after a five-day break for Labor Day in the country, but saw no motivation to trade amid a prolonged closure of the arbitrage window between London and Shanghai. Consumers balked at the surge of copper prices on the London Metal Exchange, which rose to an all-time high of $10,747 per tonne on Monday May 10.
“I am staring at the market and my jaw is dropping. Both developments involving futures and spot premiums are troubling. I believe I’m not the only one [who feels this way],” a Shanghai-based trader said.

“[There are] two different worlds now. Exchanges prices are skyrocketing, but in the...


Thorsten Schier

Julian Luk

Sally Zhang

May 12, 2021

10:31 GMT

Shanghai, New York, London