WEEK IN BRIEF: Noble's ratings downgrade; Year in Review; China-Australia FTA; Vale’s output plans

Metal Bulletin reviews some of the key news from the past five days in the metals markets.

Metal Bulletin reviews some of the key news from the past five days in the metals markets.

The copper imports market in Shanghai slowed this week ahead of the delivery of long-term contracts for 2016 after the New Year holiday.

Trader Noble Group’s credit rating was downgraded to junk status by Moody’s on December 29, with the trader saying that the $750-million deal to sell its 49% stake in the Agri business to Cofco International will boost ratings.

Glencore has had an annus horribilis that has raised questions over whether its miner-trader model is working effectively. Read Andrea Hotter's review of 2015 here.

Zinc prices on the London Metal Exchange enjoyed a good spring, then declined again as stocks rose under pressure from the China slowdown story. Click here for Metal Bulletin’s interactive infographic for the year's key events for this base metal.

Nyrstar has announced the signing and pre-funding of a metal prepayment financing of $150 million, linked to the physical delivery of refined zinc to Trafigura under a three-year offtake agreement.

Here Echo Ma reviews how 2015 has been a buyers' market for China's molybdenum.

And click here to read Anna Xu's review of 2015 for the minor metals market in China.

Vale is forging ahead with plans to increase nickel production in 2016 and is bullish on pricing, although one prominent industry analyst questioned the company’s optimism

A free trade agreement between Australia and China came into effect on December 20. Ellie Wang and Deepali Sharma write on the likely impact for nickel briquettes.

 editorial@metalbulletin.com

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