Base metals prices were rangebound on a lack of volume in official trading on the London Metal Exchange on Monday December 22, with small dips in the copper prices almost offering positive arbitrage with Chinese prices.

“We’re almost at the stage of positive arbitrage with China, but not quite,” a category I trader said.

Three-month copper settled at $6,381/382 per tonne in the official session, from its opening price of $6,391.

The red metal traded as high as $6,422 per tonne and as low as $6,375, with very low trading volume on the day.

“We are teetering towards the end of the year,” the trader said. “It’s in no-man’s land. There is a lot of pontification going on.”

Copper stocks fell by 1,300 tonnes in LME-listed warehouses, bringing total inventories to 168,700 tonnes.

Three-month aluminium settled at $1,904/905 per tonne, after opening the day at $1,906.25.

The light metal traded between $1,901 per tonne on the low end and $1,916.50 on the high end.

“There is no direct trading today. It’s all routine hedging stuff,” the trader said.

Aluminium stocks fell 10,500 tonnes in bonded warehouses. Total stocks now stand at 4,251,075 tonnes.

Three-month nickel settled at $15,700/705 per tonne, from its opening price of $15,650.

The alloying metal reached a high of $15,819 per tonne and a low of $15,562.

Nickel stocks stand at 408,408 tonnes, after climbing by 1,596 tonnes overnight.

Jethro Wookey

Twitter: @jethrowookey_mb