Base metals prices were down across the board during Asian morning trading on Wednesday, with copper leading the losses following a sharp increase in red metal stocks on the London Metal Exchange overnight.

LME copper inventories increased a net 36,300 tonnes to 248,075 tonnes on Tuesday, hitting their highest since October 20, 2017.

Check Metal Bulletin's live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.03am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 6,944 21
Aluminium 2,224 -5.5
Lead 2,616 8
Zinc 3,414 2
Tin 20,730 20
Nickel 12,830 -20

SHFE snapshot at 10.03am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper  52,730 -990
Aluminium 14,630 -20
Zinc 26,095 -120
Lead 19,720 -80
Tin  146,510 -390
Nickel  99,130 -590

The cheapest offers for cobalt units dried up last week with spot material in tight supply, while some potential buyers put purchases on hold with international prices at high levels.

The copper market in the United States is consistently receiving signs that the industry overall is healthier than it has been over the past few years and that demand could spark a rise in premiums.

The gap between premiums for nickel briquettes and 4x4 cut cathodes in the United States has widened further over the past few months, resulting in expansive melting-grade premiums that encompass both shapes.

Novelis Inc has earmarked $300 million to build a greenfield automotive aluminium sheet rolling mill in Guthrie, in the US state of Kentucky, the company said on Tuesday January 23.

Some secondary aluminium alloy prices in the United States have been pushed higher by a combination of elevated raw material costs and transportation-related issues.

Metal Bulletin Research topped the base metals leaderboard in the Apex fourth-quarter 2017 contest, with an accuracy rating of 99.35%.