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EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 20/02: Korea Zinc to increase zinc sales; Noble Group expects 2017 loss; CIS steel coil prices rise

Base Metals Market - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 04:16
Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Singapore as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Tuesday February 20.
Categories: Metals Industry News

LME base metals prices are mostly lower in quiet trading

Base Metals News - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 03:50

LME base metals prices were generally lower in Asian morning trading on Tuesday February 20, with Chinese markets still closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

China’s markets will re-open on Thursday February 22.

The three-month LME copper contract on the London Metal Exchange was at $7,093 per tonne at 11:00 am Shanghai time, down 0.35% – or $25 per tonne – from yesterday’s close.

Meanwhile, the three-month aluminium also fell 0.4%, or $9, to $2,205 per tonne as of 11:00 am Shanghai time.

In response to the US Commerce Department’s recommendation that the US should impose tariffs and quotas on steel and aluminium imports from other countries, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation suggested that this violates the principles of free trade and urged the US President to make an “appropriate judgement”.

Copper prices leads the sector lower

  • Copper registered falls from yesterday after reports that Indonesia had let Freeport start shipping copper concentrates from its Grasberg mine for another year.
  • However, volumes approved were relatively limited, at only 1.2 million tonnes of concentrate over 12 months.
  • Sentiment wasn’t helped by a strong increase in inventories as stockpiles at LME warehouses rose 1.7% to their highest level since May.

Only lead up

  • The three-month lead price was up $5.50 to $2,580.50 per tonne.
  • The three-month zinc price fell $5 to $3,550 per tonne.
  • The three-month nickel price was down $35 to $13,625 per tonne.
  • The three-month tin price dropped $55 to $21,495 per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The US dollar index was up 0.11% at 89.37 at 11:00 am Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price fell 0.38% to $65.35 per barrel and the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price dipped 0.37% to $62.14 per barrel.
  • Today, Britain will release its Industrial Trends Survey, with a forecast reading of 12.
  • Also, Eurostat will flash estimates of consumer confidence.
  • In Asia, Japan will release its flash manufacturing PMI for this month, estimated to be higher at 55.2, from January’s 54.8.

The post LME base metals prices are mostly lower in quiet trading appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

LIVE FUTURES REPORT 20/02: LME base metals mostly lower in quiet trading

Base Metals Market - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 03:50
LME base metals prices were generally lower in Asian morning trading on Tuesday February 20, with Chinese markets still closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Categories: Metals Industry News

Korea Zinc to raise zinc sales in 2018, cut lead, silver

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 19:40
Non-ferrous metals producer Korea Zinc will increase sales of zinc from its directly owned smelting assets in 2018 by 8%, or 50,000 tonnes, while reducing its lead and silver volumes, it said on February 8.
Categories: Metals Industry News

Noble Group expects near-$5 bln loss for 2017

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 18:57
Commodities trader Noble Group expects to report losses for both the fourth quarter of 2017 and the full year ended December 31, because of challenging trading conditions and substantial losses at its coal, steel and metals businesses.
Categories: Metals Industry News

LIVE FUTURES REPORT 19/02: LME Al closes in positive territory with other base metals struggling

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 17:40
Aluminium was the only base metal on the London Metal Exchange to close in positive territory on Monday February 19, with the majority of the complex’s prices under pressure.
Categories: Metals Industry News

Deripaska to step down from Rusal, EN+

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 17:25
Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska will step down from his roles as president of both Rusal and EN+ Group, the power company which owns a controlling stake in the aluminium producer, an industry source has told Metal Bulletin.
Categories: Metals Industry News

NORTH AMERICAN MORNING BRIEF 19/02: LME base metals dip lower; Q2 MJP aluminium; Cobalt 27 interview

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:00
The latest metal markets news and price moves to start the North American day on Monday February 19.
Categories: Metals Industry News

LIVE FUTURES REPORT 19/02: LME base metals dip lower in quiet market; ali prices remain firm

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:47
Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were weaker during morning trading on Monday February 19, with most metals reversing gains seen last week.
Categories: Metals Industry News

MONTHLY ALUMINIUM BILLET WRAP: Global billet premiums mostly stable in quiet markets

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:05
Metal Bulletin aluminium billet premiums were largely unchanged around the world on Friday February 16, on a combination of factors.
Categories: Metals Industry News

Producer offers Q2 MJP aluminium at $135/t – sources

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:30
An aluminium producer has offered second quarter 2018 aluminium supply to main Japanese ports (MJP) at $135 per tonne, according to market sources.
Categories: Metals Industry News

Metals morning view: Base metal prices little moved at start of week

Base Metals News - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:24

The metals complex on the London Metal Exchange is down an average of 0.1%, with the exceptions of aluminium that is off 0.6% ($2,186 per tonne) and nickel that is up 0.8% ($13,775 per tonne). Copper prices are off 0.1% at $7,177 per tonne.

Volumes have been light with 2,354 lots traded as of 07:53 am London time.

This follows a mixed performance on Friday when aluminium and tin prices were up 2.1% and 0.9% respectively, nickel prices were down 3.4%, while the rest were off between 0.1% and 0.4%.

Precious metals prices are firmer with the complex up an average of 0.6%, led by a 1.1% rise in platinum prices, while gold prices are up 0.1% at $1,347.38 per tonne – this follows a day of weakness for bullion prices with gold and silver off 0.5% and 1.4%, while platinum prices were up 0.3% and palladium prices closed up 2.5%.

Exchanges remain closed in China for the Lunar New Year holiday and will not reopen until Thursday February 22.

In wider markets, spot Brent crude oil prices are up by 0.38% at $65.10 per barrel and the yield on US 10-year treasuries has eased to 2.88%, as has the German 10-year bund yield at 0.72%.

Equity markets in Asia are firmer – the Nikkei is up by 1.97%, the Kospi is up 0.87% and the ASX 200 is up by 0.64%. This follows continued rebounds in western markets on Friday, where in the United States the Dow Jones closed up by 0.08% at 25,219.38, and in Europe where the Euro Stoxx 50 closed up by 1.10% at 3,426.80.

The dollar index is rebounding, it was recently quoted at 89.14, this after a fresh low of 88.25 on February 16. This has taken the bid out of other currencies with the euro at 1.2414, sterling at 1.4017, the yen at 106.53 and the Australian dollar at 0.7927.

Economic data out today is limited – UK house prices climbed 0.8%, later there is data on the EU current account, there is a Bundesbank monthly report and Bank of England governor Mark Carney is speaking.

The rebounds in the base metals have paused for now but prices are for the most part poised under recent highs and look well placed to continue to rally. Needless to say with China on holiday until Thursday trading activity may be subdued. We remain bullish overall and expect dips to remain well supported.

A rebound in the dollar is creating a bit of a headwind for gold and silver prices, but gold generally seems in favor and the broad based sell-off from two weeks ago may be encouraging some rotation out of equities and bonds into gold. Platinum prices are looking well placed to challenge resistance above $1,000 per oz and palladium prices seem to be rebounding after their recent 15.8% correction.

Overnight Performance GMT 07:53 +/- +/- % Lots Cu 7,177 -7.0 -0.1% 629 Al 2,186 -13.5 -0.6% 1,050 Ni 13,775 105.0 0.8% 144 Zn 3,554 -12.0 -0.3% 368 Pb 2,606 -2.0 -0.1% 152 Sn 21,750 -15.0 -0.1% 11 Average BM   -0.1%         2,354 Gold   1,347.38 0.43 0.0%   Silver         16.68 0.06 0.4% Platinum   1,012.90 10.90 1.1% Palladium   1,050.10 8.10 0.8% Average PM   0.6%

 

Economic calendar GMT Country Data Actual Expected Previous 12:01am UK Rightmove HPI m/m 0.8% 0.7%  9:00am EU Current Account 30.5B 32.5B All Day EU Eurogroup Meetings 11:00am Germany German Buba Monthly Report All Day US Bank Holiday 6:45pm UK BOE Gov Carney Speaks

The post Metals morning view: Base metal prices little moved at start of week appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

METALS MORNING VIEW 19/02: Metals prices little moved at start of week

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:24
The metals complex on the London Metal Exchange is down an average of 0.1%, with the exceptions of aluminium that is off 0.6% ($2,186 per tonne) and nickel that is up 0.8% ($13,775 per tonne). Copper prices are off 0.1% at $7,177 per tonne.
Categories: Metals Industry News

Shareholder tussle for control of Nornickel re-surfaces, high court hearing set for March

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 08:52
A London high court hearing involving the tussle for control over Nornickel by Rusal and Nornickel's president Vladimir Potanin has been set for March 5, according to a statement from Rusal on Monday February 19.
Categories: Metals Industry News

LME base metals mostly down; China market shut

Base Metals News - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 05:05

The LME aluminium price dipped 0.61% during early Asian trading on Monday February 19, reversing gains seen last Friday.

China’s markets are closed from today till Wednesday for the Chinese New Year holiday, and will re-open on Thursday February 22.

The three-month aluminium contract on the London Metal Exchange was at $2,194.50 per tonne at 12:07 pm Shanghai time, down 0.61%, or $13.50 per tonne, from Friday’s close.

Meanwhile, other base metals also fell during the session, with three-month copper down 0.65%, or $47, to $7,186 per tonne.

Aluminium price skyrockets on Section 232 recommendations 

  • Aluminium prices surged after release of US Commerce department recommendations on imports
  • One of the main recommendations made by Commerce is levying a tariff of at least 7.7% on all aluminium imports from all countries
  • China has said the bases for the proposed US tariffs are groundless and that it reserves the right to retaliate if they are imposed.
  • “If the final decision impacts China’s interests, China will certainly take necessary measures to protect its own rights,” says Wang Hejun, chief of the trade remedy and investigation bureau at China’s Ministry of Commerce.
Lead, zinc and nickel all fall, tin goes untraded
  • Lead price down $11 to $2,602 per tonne.
  • Zinc price falls $8 to $3,567 per tonne.
  • Nickel price plunges $155 to $13,765 per tonne.
  • Tin price stays unchanged at $21,750 per tonne
Currency moves and data releases 
  • The US dollar index was down 0.04 at 89.05 at 12:07 pm Shanghai time on Monday morning.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price rose 0.80% to $65.37 per barrel and the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price increased 1.41% to $62.47 per barrel.
  • This Wednesday, Australia will release its Q4 Wage Price Index, which is expected to rise 0.5% quarterly while annual growth is estimated to remain at 2.0%
  • This Friday, the Fed will publish minutes of its January FOMC meeting and will also deliver the text of its semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress ahead of testimonies by new Fed chair Jay Powell next week.
  • New Zealand will release its retail sales this Thursday.
  • In Europe, eyes remain on the flash February PMIs and preliminary CPI numbers.

The post LME base metals mostly down; China market shut appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

LIVE FUTURES REPORT 19/02: LME base metals mostly down; China market shut

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 05:05
The LME aluminium price dipped 0.61% during early Asian trading on Monday February 19, reversing gains seen last Friday.
Categories: Metals Industry News

EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 19/02: China says 232 findings 'baseless'; US aluminium scrap prices; Global steel billet prices

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 04:26
Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Singapore as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Monday February 19.
Categories: Metals Industry News

China says US Section 232 findings ‘baseless,' warns of ‘necessary measures to safeguard rights’

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 02:53
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has called the findings of the United States’ Section 232 investigations “baseless” and warned that it will take “necessary measures to safeguard its rights” should the final decision on aluminium and steel import tariffs affect China’s interests.
Categories: Metals Industry News

China says US Section 232 findings ‘baseless’, warns of ‘necessary measures to safeguard rights’

Base Metals Market - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 02:53
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has called the findings of the United States’ Section 232 investigations “baseless” and warned that it will take “necessary measures to safeguard its rights” should the final decision on aluminium and steel import tariffs affect China’s interests.
Categories: Metals Industry News

Aluminium prices surge after release of US Commerce Department recommendations on imports

Base Metals News - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 22:56

The US aluminium industry is grappling with the US Commerce Department’s recommendations – confirmed by Secretary Wilbur Ross – for President Donald Trump on the Section 232 probe, with that uncertainty translating to jumps in prices and premiums.

“Everything has lit up,” one aluminium supplier quipped. “I’m getting bombarded by emails.”

American Metal Market has learned that commodity broker Marex Spectron pushed its assessment of the US Midwest aluminium premium to 14 cents per lb, up from a previous point of 12.75 cents per lb, after Commerce released its recommendations on Friday February 16.

American Metal Market’s assessment of the P1020 premium has been on the rise since before Ross delivered his recommendations to the White House last month. The latest assessment, at 13-13.5 cents per lb, marks an upswing of more than 40% since the start of the year.

And CME Group’s Midwest aluminium premium futures have skyrocketed since the announcement, with the contract for April climbing to 15 cents per lb on February 16 from 13 cents per lb on Thursday February 15.

Stocks of aluminium companies on the New York Stock Exchange jumped following Commerce’s announcement. As of Friday afternoon, stock prices for US producer Century Aluminum Co had gained 10.4% from the previous day’s close.

Meanwhile, the London Metal Exchange’s daily cash price for aluminium jumped by $25.50 on Friday to close at $2,189.50 per tonne (99.3 cents per lb), up 1.2% from $2,164 per tonne (98.1 cents per lb) on Thursday.

The three main recommendations made by Commerce to the president concerning aluminium ingots and “a wide variety of aluminum products” include:

  1. Levying a tariff of at least 7.7% on all aluminium imports from all countries;
  2. Levying a 23.6% tariff on imports from selected countries, with a quota on the rest; and
  3. Enforcing a quota on all aluminium-exporting countries without levying a tariff

More answers, more questions
The open-ended nature of these recommendations, which Ross confirmed during a press conference Friday, reportedly was by design – and is causing ripples of uncertainty in the aluminium industry.

“There’s still as many questions as there were before,” the supplier said, citing concerns as to what aluminium “products” these potential actions could affect.

“I think the market expected less,” one analyst said. “I think [the recommendations are] very aggressive. I didn’t think they were going to be this aggressive.”

Ross also confirmed during the press conference that Trump would have until April 19 to decide on which measure, if any, he will elect to enact. The president can also choose to implement remedies not included in Commerce’s recommendation, and can opt to cancel the measures at any time once enacted.

Exporters that would be subject to the 23.6% tariff include China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam. All other countries would be limited to a quota of 100% of their total aluminium exports to the United States in 2017.

Under the third option, all countries would be subject to a quota of 86.7% of their total aluminium exports to the US in 2017.

According to Ross, the open-ended nature of Commerce’s recommendations means to tackle problems of transshipment, which has been a major issue in the aluminium industry.

“Serial offenders can evade [anti-dumping and countervailing duty] measures… that’s why the proposed [232] measures need to affect aluminum shipments from all sources, to some degree,” Ross said.

Excluding Canadian material, US imports of general unwrought aluminium totaled 2.42 million tonnes in 2017 – up 23.8% from 2016 and 108.2% higher than 2015 volumes. According to Commerce, imports have risen to account for 90% of US demand for primary aluminium, up from 66% in 2012.

Despite the willingness to implement measures affecting a host of companies, the focus still appears to be Chinese aluminium.

“My quick glance through the report suggests that… China is a target,” John Mothersole, director of research, pricing and purchasing service at London-based IHS Markit, told American Metal Market February 16. “My surprise is that remedies may be placed across a broad range of product classifications… I had thought that they might be focused on flat products and/or primary aluminum.”

Some participants optimistic

Despite the lingering questions among market participants, some who spoke to American Metal Market were supportive of what they heard.

“To me, it sounds like a reasonable approach,” a second aluminium supplier said. “We’re not supposed to be a dumping ground.”

Quotas or a combination of quotas and tariffs on select nations appear to be the most likely options for the US to implement, Cowen & Co analysts said in a February 16 research note. However, for producers, any of the three options could be beneficial.

“The remedies seem to have a goal of restarting a good block of idle primary capacity,” Mothersole said. “This is interesting, since my perception is that most of this capacity is ‘vintage’ and/or just plain obsolete. But if you are going to make the case that the industry needs protection on national security grounds, you need to maintain a foundation of primary capacity.”

Ross made the same case during the press conference: “National security is a broad and encompassing topic… it’s not just defense needs.”

According to Commerce, the goal of the measures is to bring US aluminium production up to 80% of capacity, “a level that would provide the industry with long-term viability.” The US market is currently at 48% capacity utilization.

“People with capacity to restart operations will [do so]. People on the bubble… can be shoved off of the fence and go ahead and do it,” the second supplier commented.

Some companies have been reluctant to restart smelting operations – such as Arg International’s New Madrid, Missouri, facility – due to uncompetitive electricity costs offsetting the benefit of higher aluminium prices on the LME.

The post Aluminium prices surge after release of US Commerce Department recommendations on imports appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

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