EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 15/12: SHFE copper leads pack upward; Rio Tinto eyes higher copper output; manganese ore price rally

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Shanghai as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Friday December 15.

Copper prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange outperformed the rest of the base metals complex during Asian morning trading on Friday, with the red metal continuing to find support from expectations of supply disruptions and tightened supply.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.39am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price
($ per tonne)
 Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 6,770 -23
Aluminium 2,038 -11.5
Lead 2,520 -5
Zinc 3,178 -9
Tin 18,815 -85
Nickel 11,650 95

SHFE snapshot at 10.40am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price
(yuan per tonne)
 Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper  52,650 360
Aluminium 14,360 85
Zinc 25,250 145
Lead 18,980 -70
Tin  134,410 -190
Nickel  89,710 500

Rio Tinto is looking to ramp up mined copper production next year after being forced to cut its 2017 production guidance twice due to strikes and falling grades.

Metal Bulletin addresses four key questions surrounding the latest manganese ore rally that has seen prices rise 9% in less than a week.

Chile’s Empresa Nacional de Mineria said that ongoing strike action is also affecting the operations of its five copper processing plants, which have run out of sulfuric acid.

Chinese producers are seeking to ramp up lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide production capacity over the course of 2018 to supply the booming Chinese electric vehicle industry.

Primary cobalt resources are unlikely to satisfy forecast demand for the metal as the “big electric vehicle revolution” picks up pace, according to Glencore chief executive officer Ivan Glasenberg

Mark Midgley has been appointed the new director of marketing and sales, North America, for Ni-Met Metals (USA) Inc.

The chief financial officer and the commercial manager at Malaysia Smelting Corp Berhad have left the company this month while the tin producer is relocating its Butterworth smelter from Penang to Port Klang.

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