SHFE STOCKS REPORT 23/03: SHFE copper stocks rise further; aluminium inventories see milder gain

Deliverable copper stocks at Shanghai Futures Exchange-approved warehouses increased for an eighth consecutive week in the week ended Friday March 23, while aluminium inventories showed a milder gain.

Copper stocks increased by 10,441 tonnes to 307,435 tonnes this week, up by 3.5% from the 296,994 tonnes on March 16. Stocks are now up by 92% since the beginning of the year.

  • This week, SIPG Logistics in Shanghai saw the most copper entering its sheds with 8,533 tonnes.
  • SHFE copper stocks have risen in recent weeks with stockholders holding onto their metal amid high expectations of improved demand in the second quarter, and slower demand in the first quarter owing to the Chinese New Year holidays.
  • “Supply in the refined copper market should remain ample in the short term, and with downstream users taking a wait-and-see attitude, copper stocks may climb further putting a cap on copper prices,” Minmetals Jingyi Futures said on Friday.
  • The SHFE’s most-traded May copper contract closed the official session at 50,110 yuan ($7,917) per tonne on Friday - down from a closing price of 51,740 yuan per tonne a week earlier - amid a global risk-off tone due to the US Federal Open Market Committee monetary policy midweek and fears of a global trade war after United States President Donald Trump ordered further tariffs on Chinese imports.

Aluminium stocks climb slightly

  • Aluminium stocks at SHFE-approved warehouses had a milder rise of 6,102 tonnes or 0.7% this week - compared with an increase of 87,303 tonnes or 10.3% a week earlier - to 940,318 tonnes as of Friday.
  • The increase comes as the winter production cuts imposed by the Chinese government officially came to an end on March 15.
  • “It’s a race between supply and demand now. If market stock levels show a confirmed decline in the second half of March, then there is hope for a rebound in aluminium prices,” Minmetals Jingyi Futures said. The April-May period typically sees a seasonal increase in demand in China.
  • The SHFE May aluminium contract closed the official session at 13,765 yuan per tonne today, down from a closing price of 14,000 yuan per tonne a week ago.

Nickel, lead, tin stocks fall; zinc increases

  • Nickel inventories slipped 743 tonnes to 49,903 tonnes.
  • Tin stocks were 381 tonnes lower compared with last week at 4,667 tonnes.
  • Zinc inventories rose 1,799 tonnes to 159,347 tonnes.
  • Lead stocks decreased 7,517 tonnes to 26,343 tonnes in the week ended Friday.
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