Commodities prices grew almost exclusively on Monday and oil was no exception. The front-month contract on Brent gained about 0.8 percent and the spread between the front-month and the six-month contract (ICE) widened to the highest level since early April this year. Apart from North Sea production issues and lower Russian production, news that about a third of Libya’s oil production has been offline due to strikes supported the short-end of the curve.
Copper ignored a bit weaker China’s HSBC PMI data for June and posted the largest daily gains since early May and the second largest so far this year; the three-month contract (LME) settled just shy below 7000 USD per ton (USD/t) mark.
Slightly disturbing for overall bearish mood in the copper market may be the fact that, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, China’s bonded warehouse stocks of copper has been falling since February this year and that the flow of the metal into LME warehouses has been accompanied by increase in Shanghai physical premiums. Another sign of possibly strong Chinese demand has been a concentration of cancelled warrants in Malaysian Johor; let us recall that in this location only currently sits around 40 percent of total LME stocks and about 80 percent of these have been cancelled. Massive June cancellation of warrants has even pushed the price of LME cash contract above the three-month benchmark for the first time since the end of October 2012.