The most-traded May copper contract on the SHFE was at 51,280 yuan ($8,091) per tonne as of 10.57am Shanghai time, down by 840 yuan per tonne from last Friday’s closing price, with around 211,000 lots of the contract traded.
Reports that workers at Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile may possibly receive a new wage offer in coming days have eased concerns that workers would strike and disrupt output at the Chilean mine, ANZ Research said on Monday morning.
Earlier in March, union workers at the Antofagasta mine had voted to strike after rejecting a contract offer, setting off government mediation talks.
In addition, a slightly stronger dollar – boosted by strong US economic data late last week – affected investors’ appetite for the base metals, while a cautious mood ahead of the US Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) monetary policy meeting on Wednesday has also pushed base metal prices lower this morning, ANZ added.
The US central bank is widely expected to raise its policy rate by 25 basis point, taking the Federal Funds target rate to 1.5-1.75%. Investors will also look to the FOMC statement for more clarity on the number of rate increases expected this year.
SHFE copper stocks continued to climb last Friday. Inventories increased 10.8% week on week to 296,994 tonnes as of March 16, which is up by 85% since the beginning of this year.
Supply in the refined copper market is ample in the short term, but with downstream capacity restarts and expectations of stronger demand during the upcoming peak season for demand, tightness in the copper raw material market could arise, providing support for copper prices, Minmetals Jingyi Futures said last Friday. Rest of metals decline
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