Tin bucked the trend as it was the only base metal on the SHFE to record a significant loss so far this morning.
The most-traded July copper contract price on the SHFE rose to 51,990 yuan ($8,098) per tonne as at 10.19am Shanghai time, up 510 yuan per tonne from last Friday’s close.
Red metal prices have been underpinned by fresh supply-side concerns from around the globe.
Last week, India’s Vedanta Resources confirmed its subsidiary Sterlite had been ordered to permanently shut its 400,000-tonne-per-year Tuticorin refined copper smelter.
“The suspension of Sterlite’s operations will result in the reduction of Chinese refined copper imports from India and consequently an imbalance of copper supply in the region,” Citic Futures Research said.
In addition, the market continues to focus on the ongoing labor contract talks at BHP’s Escondida copper mine in Chile.
The talks, which began last Friday, come a year after failed labor negotiations led to a 44-day strike, which only ended after mine workers invoked a legal provision allowing them to extend their existing contract by 18 months, until July 31, 2018.
Nickel was the second best performer during the early session on Monday, helped by persistent declines in inventory levels.
The most-traded July nickel contract price jumped 1,050 yuan to 117,160 yuan per tonne as at 10.19am Shanghai time.
The metal has recorded 19 straight days of inventory decline on the London Metal Exchange as of last Friday following disruptions to Chinese stainless steel supply due to environmental concerns, leaving total stocks at 287,646 tonnes on June 3, their lowest since June 2014.
Nickel stocks at SHFE-listed sheds fell 1,070 tonnes last week, declining to 31,216 tonnes as of June 1.
In addition, the metal continues to receive support from the optimism surrounding consumption from the electric vehicle (EV) sector.
“Carmakers including VW-owned Porsche and Toyota have signaled they will move away from diesel technology, while Swedish carmaker Volvo aims to produce only electric vehicles by 2019. As such, global consumption of nickel for EV batteries is likely to rise over the coming years,” Andy Farida, analyst at Metal Bulletin said.
Base metals prices
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