SHFE copper retreats after yesterday’s rally

SHFE copper prices retreated in Asian morning trading on Friday January 5 after surging in the previous afternoon’s session, as the market awaits US payroll numbers due out tonight.

The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 290 ($46) yuan per tonne to 54,890 yuan per tonne as of 02:32am Shanghai time.

The Chinese government has finished issuing the first two rounds of solid waste import licenses for 2018, with copper scrap import license numbers and tonnages both more than 94% lower from a year earlier.

The news had led to a sharp rally in copper prices on Thursday afternoon.

According to official files obtained by Metal Bulletin, copper scrap (HS code 7404.0000.10) 2018 import volumes granted in the first two rounds totaled 136,685 tonnes, down 94.3% from 2,397,565 tonnes approved in the first two rounds of 2017, mainly due to fewer companies securing a license so far.

In mid-August last year, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection adjusted its import categories for scrap and waste products, with eligibility requirements for category 7 copper and aluminium scrap materials tightened.

The market is waiting for US nonfarm payroll numbers due later night, with 190,000 new jobs expected to have been added in December, down from 228,000 in November.

Nickel and tin drop, zinc, aluminium and lead rise

  • the most-traded February aluminum contract was up 15 yuan to 15,065 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE February zinc contract was down 15 yuan per tonne to 25,800 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE February lead contract was up 5 yuan per tonne to 25,965 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE May nickel contract was down 270 yuan per tonne to 98,910 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE May tin contract was down 460 yuan per tonne to 144,850 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases 

  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price was up $0.08 at to $68.01 per barrel and the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price was up $0.02 at $61.93 per barrel.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.23% to 3393.66.
  • In data, the US unemployment rate is key to watch tonight; European PPI, Canada employment change and trade balance numbers are also due later today; also, Federal Open Market Committee member Loretta Mester will be speaking later today.