April Copper Update

  • 14 May 2018
  • By CME Group
  • Topics: Metals

Copper Updates

  • Copper recovered modestly in April following three consecutive months of declines, rallying in sympathy with other base metals as worries escalated over potential trade wars and import tariffs. Furthermore, copper prices benefitted from positive data out of China late in the month that showed strengthening services sector and robust manufacturing.  The official manufacturing PMI index stood at 51.4 in April, from 51.5 in March.  The non-manufacturing PMI rose to 54.8 in April from 54.6 in March, according to the statistics bureau. Source
  • Net long positions in Copper futures held by money managers rose to 37,499 contracts as of April 24, weekly CFTC data on futures and options showed. The net-long position rose for the past four consecutive weeks to the most bullish position in approximately two months. Short-only positions fell substantially in the month of April as money managers cut their short positions by approximately 40% to 38,988 contracts as of April 24, the lowest level in nine weeks.
  • Copper futures traded on average 147K contracts in April, up 23.4% YoY. Copper options average daily volume remained robust in April at 1,160 lots, up 453% YoY.
  • Copper inventory held in exchange-approved warehouses continues to grow, rising to 247,754 short tons as of April 30, up 6.4% MoM and 60% YoY. Inventory reached 248,744 short tons on April 27, the highest level in 14 years.

Copper Price Performance

Copper Futures Forward Curve

Copper Futures Month-on-Month Change in Open Interest

Liquidity Charts

April 2018 ADV per hour (based on GMT time zone)

Copper Futures Market Depth

Source: CME. Data as of 30 April 2018.

Copper Inventory Movements

Date Total Inventory Eligible Registered Registered, %
4/28/2017 155,295 6,128 149,167 96%
3/29/2018 232,817 12,536 220,281 95%
4/30/2018 247,754 27,341 220,413 89%
MoM Change, % 6% 118% 0%  
YoY Change, % 60% 346% 48%  

Source: CME. Data as of 30 April 2018

Disaggregated Commitment of Traders Report

Open Interest

Data as of Year Open Interest % Change in OI (WOW)
4/24/2018 240990 0.41%


Data as of Year Producer / Merchant Positions Long Swap Dealers Positions Long Managed Money Positions Long Other Rept Positions Long Nonrept Positions Long Total Long
  % Change in Producer Long (WOW) % Change in Swap Long (WOW) % Change in Managed Money Long (WOW) % Change in Other Rept Long (WOW) % Change in Nonrept Long (WOW) %Change in Total Long
4/24/2018 27354 50210 95259 50321 17846 240990
  -0.09% 4.97% 3.28% -3.84% -11.77% 0.41%


Data as of Year Producer / Merchant Positions Short Swap Dealers Positions Short Managed Money Positions Short Other Rept Positions Short Nonrept Positions Short Total Short
  % Change in Producer Short (WOW) % Change in Swap Short (WOW) % Change in Managed Money Short (WOW) % Change in Other Rept Short (WOW) % Change in Nonrept Short (WOW) %Change in Total Short
4/24/2018 104289 18406 56692 46252 15351 240990
  8.08% 23.52% -18.72% 4.87% 3.98% 0.16%


Data as of Year Producer Total Swap Dealers Total Managed Money Total Other Rept Total Nonrept Total
  %Change in Producer Total %Change in Swap Dealers Total %Change in Managed Money Total %Change in Other Rept Total %Change in Nonrept Total
4/24/2018 131643 68616 151951 96573 33197
  6.28% 9.37% -6.19% 0.14% -5.12%

Source: CFTC Data, as of 24 April 2018

Source: CFTC. Data as of 24 April 2018.

Source: CFTC. Data as of 24 April 2018.

Copper Premium Futures

  • Momentum in newly launched Copper Premium futures has slowed down due to the lack of volatility in the underlying and seasonal slowdown of the industry following Chinese New Year.
  • There is good volume on the on-screen bids until the end of 2018.

Source: CME Direct. Screenshot as of 1 May 2018.

Copper Options

Put/Call Options Open Interest Breakdown and Top Strikes

Top 5 Open Interest for HIGH GRADE COPPER OPTION for 30 April 2018
Contract Month Strike, $/lb Open Interest
201807 3.1500 1,070
201806 3.2000 729
201812 3.1500 700
201807 3.3500 696
201807 3.3000


Source: CME. Data as of 30 April 2018.

Copper Options: Bid/Ask Spreads Heatmap

Source: CME. Data as of 30 April 2018.

Copper Options: Depth Heatmap

Source: CME. Data as of 30 April 2018.

*Percentiles represent portion of time when the order book is available

Copper Financial Futures

If you have any questions or would like more information regarding this weekly communication, please contact metals@cmegroup.com.

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