LIVE FUTURES REPORT 16/04: LME zinc price up 0.8% amid outflows; copper holds above $5,100/t despite fresh rewarranting

The three-month zinc price on the London Metal Exchange was up during morning trading on Thursday April 16, with price action supported by a fresh outflow of some 600 tonnes, while steady buying over the morning saw copper hold on to recent gains.

Zinc’s outright price on the LME was recently seen at $1,946 per tonne, a rise of around 0.8% from Wednesday’s closing price of $1,931 per tonne. Turnover in zinc was moderate with some 2,450 lots exchanged as of 9.45am London time.

Supporting zinc’s upward price action was this morning’s outflow of some 600 tonnes from LME-registered warehouses in Koahsiung, Rotterdam, Singapore and Vlissingen, where the LME’s on-warrant zinc inventories are most concentrated.

Total LME zinc stocks now sit at 99,150 tonnes, with some 89,625 tonnes on-warrant, leaving just 9,525 tonnes canceled, while warrant traders have indicated that the ready availability of free-floating zinc warrants continues to draw interest.

This comes despite a continued contango in zinc’s benchmark cash/three-month spread, which was recently seen in $10.50 per tonne contango.

“It is now reasonable to suggest that the prices have seen the worst in terms of collapse, and we are starting to enter the consolidation phase prior to prices moving on up as demand returns and coronavirus supply disruption creates shortages,” Kingdom Futures director and chief executive Malcolm Freeman said in a morning note.

Elsewhere in the complex, the three-month copper price was marginally higher over the morning, recently trading at $5,129.50 per tonne, up by 0.4% from Wednesday’s closing price of $5,111.50 per tonne.

This comes despite a fresh rewarranting of some 5,500 tonnes, the bulk of which was booked out of Rotterdam warehouses, doing little to pressure the red metal’s underlying price.

LME on-warrant copper inventories in Rotterdam are now at 55,175 tonnes, which keeps it below Busan’s 58,125 tonnes on-warrant. Total LME copper stocks are now at 260,825 tonnes, with some 222,325 tonnes on-warrant.

Copper’s cash/three-month spread remains in a wide contango, recently seen at $24.50 per tonne.

Other highlights

  • In other commodities, Brent crude oil futures were up by 1.81%, recently trading at $28.41 per barrel.
  • The US dollar index was recently trading 0.23% higher at 99.84.
  • In data from the European Union released this morning, the German final consumer price index (CPI) month on month for the March-April period was in line with expectations at a rise of 0.1%.
  • Meanwhile the German wholesale price index (WPI) over the same period fell by 0.4%, missing an expected rise of 0.2%.
  • Later today, the United States will be releasing data on unemployment claims, building permits and the Philly Fed manufacturing index.