Since the beginning of the year, industrial metal prices have generally strengthened, becoming the warmest “spring” since 2008.
Non-ferrous metal varieties are stronger across the board
According to statistics, since the current round of rise, Shanghai nickel has risen by about 19%, the biggest increase; followed by Shanghai copper and Shanghai zinc, with an increase of around 7%; Shanghai Aluminum and Shanghai Tin again, with a gain of 3%-5%. According to reports, industrial metal prices have shown the best performance since 2008.
The copper gains are among the top, reflecting that the metal market is mainly driven by macro sentiment. At the current time, the marginal easing of domestic liquidity boosts demand expectations. The Fed’s rate hike cycle has become more and more accurate. Multi-factors have led to the emotional repair of non-ferrous plates, giving priority to copper, which is most sensitive to macroscopic changes. Speeding up demand, supply growth slowdown, and scrap copper import restrictions have increased support for China’s concentrate imports. The fundamental surface of electrolytic aluminum is already at the bottom, and it is unlikely that further deterioration will occur. In addition, due to the high price of upstream coal and alumina in the short term, aluminum prices are supported by costs.
Copper is continually optimistic
Copper’s recent gains have been particularly significant, and many analysts believe that the breed may continue to be strong in 2019.
From the supply side, CICC believes that global copper mine growth has slowed down and China’s scrap copper imports continue to tighten. Copper supply changes often lag behind demand. In the period of slowdown in China’s demand growth in 2013-2016, global copper mines still maintained a compound annual growth rate of about 5%. It is estimated that the global copper mine increase in 2019 may be less than 500,000 tons. In addition, the import restrictions on China’s seven types of scrap copper were officially implemented in 2019, and the six types of scrap copper imports were converted into “restricted imports”, which will support the growth of copper concentrate imports for 10% or more.
According to industry insiders, the long processing fee for copper concentrates has been lowered recently, which indicates that the supply and demand side of copper mines may start to trade the expected supply of concentrates.
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