China stocks, SHFE arbitrage and the copper price

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Report summary

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the surge in Chinese demand over the past decade has driven the copper price higher but in this Insight we reveal that the Chinese stock cycle plays an important role in movements on the LME. We also explain arbitrage and how all these factors interplay. During the period 2004 to 2012 Chinese consumption grew by 5.2Mt or at an average annual rate of 13%, while demand in the Rest of the World actually contracted.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    China stocks, SHFE arbitrage and the copper price

    PDF 502.24 KB

Table of contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Stocking cycle
  • Arbitrage
  • Conclusions

Tables and charts

This report includes 6 images and tables including:


  • China's share of copper stocks and the copper price
  • China's stocks/demand ratio and the copper price
  • China stock cycle and net copper imports - (kt)
  • China stocks, copper price and SHFE arbitrage
  • SHFE arbitrage and refined copper imports


  • LME to SHFE arbitrage worked example

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