The most-traded April copper contract on the SHFE fell to c yuan ($8,430) per tonne as of 10.03 am Shanghai time, down by 330 yuan from the previous day’s close.

Despite SHFE copper prices managing to end the day higher on Monday, a stronger dollar overnight saw the red metal give back these gains in the early session today.

The dollar index hit a high of 90.07 on Monday, the recent low being 88.25 on February 16, but has softened again this morning. The index was quoted at 89.74 as of 10.03am Shanghai time.

Further dampening sentiment for the red metal was the decline in Chinese import volumes witnessed in January.

China imported 314,525 tonnes of refined copper in January, a month-on-month decline of 4.2%, while copper scrap imports fell 24.1% in the same comparison, according to official Chinese customs data.

Meanwhile, investors will be looking ahead to a data-heavy day on Wednesday which includes the release of China’s manufacturing and non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ indices, the EU’s consumer price index and the preliminary gross domestic product reading from the United States.

“Copper… [is] poised in high ground and recent price dips have been well supported, but whether buyers are willing to chase prices into fresh high ground remains to be seen,” William Adams, Metal Bulletin senior analyst, said.

Zinc buoyed by China data

  • The SHFE April zinc contract price rose by 15 yuan to 26,685 yuan per tonne.
  • Zinc continues to find support from tightened availability, while the release of positive Chinese trade data also gave a boost to investors’ appetite for the metal.
  • China imported 67,111 tonnes of refined zinc last month, up by 287.1% year on year, while imports of zinc ore and concentrates rose by 48.5% in the same comparison to 344,394 tonnes, Chinese customs data showed.
  • “Detailed Chinese trade data confirming strong import demand… for January helped boost investor sentiment,” ANZ Research noted on Tuesday.

Base metals prices
  • The SHFE April aluminium contract price dipped by 80 yuan to 14,215 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE April lead contract price increased by 95 yuan to 19,525 yuan per tonne
  • The SHFE May tin contract price rose by 490 yuan to 147,970 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE May nickel contract price declined by 340 yuan to 105,130 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases
  • The dollar index was down by 0.1% at 89.74 as of 10.03am Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price was down by 0.03% to $67.52 per barrel as of 10.03am Shanghai time.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was down by 0.94% to 3298.28 as of 10.55 am Shanghai time.
  • In data on Monday, US new home sales for January came in below expectations at 593,000 - 655,000 had been called for.
  • In data today, US core durable goods orders and CB consumer confidence are of note.
  • In addition, German Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann and US Federal Reserve president Jerome Powell are speaking.

LME snapshot at 02.04 am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 7,133 23
Aluminium 2,146 8
Lead 2,583 4
Zinc 3,534.50 3.5
Tin 21,630 30
Nickel 13,895 -30
SHFE snapshot at 10.03 am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper  53,270 -330
Aluminium 14,215 -80
Zinc 26,685 15
Lead 19,525 95
Tin  147,970 490
Nickel  105,130 -340

Changjiang spot snapshot on February 27
  Range (yuan per tonne)  Change (yuan)
Copper  52,910 —53,930 -30
Aluminium 13,930 — 13,970 40
Zinc 26,600 —27,400 70
Lead 19,450 —19,650 150
Tin  146,000—148,000 250
Nickel  104,400 —104,500 800