SMM Morning Comments (May 25): Base metals mixed as China’s annual parliament meeting continues; LME closed for holiday

SMM Morning Comments (May 25): Base metals mixed as China’s annual parliament meeting continues; LME closed for holiday

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SHANGHAI, May 25 (SMM) – Shanghai nonferrous metals traded mixed on Monday morning as investors continued to watch for developments from China’s National People’s Congress (NPC)—the country’s annual session of parliament.

The LME will be closed on Monday for a bank holiday. LME base metals, except for zinc, closed lower on Friday, with copper shedding 1.6% to lead the way down. Aluminium dropped 1.2%, nickel slipped 1.1%, lead fell 0.4% and tin dipped 0.1%.

Those metals on the SHFE moved mixed on Friday night. Nickel slid 1.5%, copper fell 0.6% and aluminium lost 0.1%, while zinc inched up 0.06%, lead advanced 0.5% and tin rose 0.8%.

China said on Friday it would not publish an annual growth target for the first time. Beijing also pledged more government spending as the pandemic kept hammering the economy.

Copper: Three-month LME copper extended its decline to a low of $5,261.5/mt in European trading hours on Friday, before it recovered some ground to end 1.58% lower at $5,305/mt.

The most active SHFE July contract touched a one-week low of 43,210 yuan/mt on Friday night, before it clawed back some losses to close 0.55% weaker at 43,490 yuan/mt. It is expected to move between 43,300-43,800 yuan/mt today, while spot premiums are expected to widen to 150-180 yuan/mt as futures prices have eased and it’s the last day for the delivery of long-term contracts.

Aluminium: Three-month LME aluminium slipped to an intraday low of $1,493/mt in European trading hours on Friday, before it recovered some ground to close the day 1.15% lower at $1,503.5/mt. It pulled back after two consecutive days of gains, failing to move out of its recent range.

The most active SHFE July contract fluctuated to close 0.12% lower at 12,785 yuan/mt on Friday night. It is expected to move at 12,600-13,000 yuan/mt today. A slowdown in inventory decline, greater availability, narrower spot premiums and spreads between SHFE contracts led to the correction in SHFE aluminium, which received limited boost from the two sessions.

Zinc: Three-month LME zinc fell to a one-week trough of $1,948/mt in Asian trading hours on Friday, before it erased those losses to close up 0.81% at $1,985/mt. It bucked the downtrend across LME nonferrous metals, but failed to return above the 10-day moving average. Data showed that zinc stocks at LME-approved warehouses continued to decline, decreasing 0.23% or 250 mt to 106,575 mt as of May 22. Concerns over ore supply supported LME zinc prices.

The most-liquid SHFE July contract climbed to a session-high of 16,515 yuan/mt on Friday night, before shorts dominated the market and sent the contract to close just a tad higher at 16,370 yuan/mt. Longs left the market with little in the way of major new announcements from China’s two sessions, contributing to the pull-back in prices. The July contract is likely to trade at 16,100-16,600 yuan/mt today, while spot premiums for domestic 0# Shuangyan are to steady at 140-150 yuan/mt over the SHFE June contract.

Nickel: Three-month LME nickel slid to a low of $12,105/mt in the final hour of the Asian trading session on Friday, and it later clawed back some losses to finish the day 1.13% lower at $12,280/mt. Whether it could stand convincingly above the 10-day moving average will come under scrutiny.  

The most-traded SHFE July contract rose on Friday night, rebounding from a lower open at 100,000 yuan/mt to close 1.49% lower at 101,180 yuan/mt.

Lead: Three-month LME lead slipped to a low of $1,612/mt in European trading hours on Friday, before it recouped some losses to close down 0.39% at $1,647.5/mt. LME lead underperformed its SHFE counterpart recently due to rising tensions between the US and China.

The most-liquid SHFE July contract advanced 0.5% to 14,180 yuan/mt on Friday night, and is expected to remain strong in the near term.

Tin: Three-month LME tin plumbed a low of $15,150/mt in the final hour of the Asian trading session on Friday, and it later pared some losses to end just 0.1% lower at 15,380/mt. Support is still seen at $15,100/mt, while resistance is at $15,700/mt.

The most-traded SHFE July contract rose 0.79% to 134,400 yuan/mt on Friday night as shorts covered their positions and some longs added their positions. Resistance is seen at a previous high of 136,000 yuan/mt.

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