SHFE STOCKS REPORT 22/03: Base metals stocks show divergent movement

Base metal stocks on Shanghai Futures Exchange-approved warehouses showed divergent trends during the week ending Friday March 22, with zinc stocks falling by 6.5% but those of aluminium, tin and lead rising.

Deliverable zinc stocks at SHFE-approved warehouses declined by 8,064 tonnes, or 6.5%, week on week to 115,974 tonnes.

This week Qisheng saw the most stock leaving from sheds - 9,086 tonnes of the metal were delivered out of the warehouse.

The sharp decline in stocks was caused by supply concerns for upstream zinc concentrates.

“Disruptions to shipping concentrate supplies from mines in the Mount Isa region of Australia, ongoing constraints on Chinese smelters and a five-week shutdown of Vedanta’s Skorpion smelter are preventing the strong mine growth from reaching the refined market,” Fastmarkets analyst James Moore said on latest zinc today report.

In addition, according to data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Chinese zinc production in the first two months of 2019 slowed by 8.2% on a year-on-year basis, which has also helped support trading interest.

Zinc prices were mostly up this week, with the most-traded May zinc contract price on the SHFE closing at 22,100 yuan per tonne on Friday, compared with 21,655 yuan per tonne one week ago.

Deliverable copper stocks at SHFE-approved warehouses moved down by 5,429 tonnes, or 2%, week on week since March 15 to 259,172 tonnes.

“Copper stocks are on the decline in China amid the expectation that downsteam demand could increase significantly due to the peak season of consumption during March and April,” Chinese broker Guotai Junan Futures said.

SHFE base metals stocks

  • SHFE aluminium stocks rose by 2,699 tonnes to 741,757 tonnes.
  • SHFE tin stocks inched up by 30 tonnes to 8,418 tonnes.
  • SHFE nickel stocks dropped 320 tonnes to 11,897 tonnes.
  • SHFE lead stocks were up by 1,884 tonnes to 35,326 tonnes.

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