EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 05/02: SHFE nickel prices slide; US aluminium billet upcharge moves up; US smelter-grade scrap prices

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Shanghai as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Monday February 5.

Base metals prices, with the exception of tin, on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were lower during Asian morning trading on Monday February 5 amid weak investor appetite and a firmer dollar.

Nickel prices led on the downside, with follow-through weakness evident in Asia this morning after a slump in the London Metal Exchange’s three-month nickel price last Friday.

Check Metal Bulletin's live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 03.25 am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 7,065.50 20.5
Aluminium 2,202 -8
Lead 2,657 -24
Zinc 3,507 5
Tin 21,620 90
Nickel 13,345 -90

SHFE snapshot at 10.20 am Shanghai time
Most traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan/t)  Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper  52,950 -570
Aluminium 14,320 -70
Zinc 26,735 -115
Lead 19,620 -40
Tin  149,210 520
Nickel  101,280 -3250

The US aluminium billet upcharge has moved up over the past week, with market participants sharing mixed takes on the effect an ongoing lockout at a Canadian smelter is having on premiums.

Some secondary aluminium scrap prices have nudged higher in the United States due to stiff domestic competition and pockets of slower inbound flows, while those for mill-grade product slipped due to declines on the LME and sparse spot buying activity.

Price trends in the global steel billet market were mixed in the week ended Friday February 2, with pricing moving in different directions in the various markets.

Production of nickel intermediates will need to ramp up in order to meet forecast demand from the electric-vehicle sector, according to Anne Oxley, technical director of Brazilian Nickel.

Major Russian steelmaker Severstal expects further steel demand growth in the country, but prices are likely to decrease due to a downward trend in raw material markets.

Cold-rolled and galvanized steel prices continue to inch higher in the US due to mill increases and despite buyer concerns that current lofty prices are not sustainable.

Southern Copper Corp reported higher copper and zinc sales volumes and prices in the fourth quarter of 2017, but these were overshadowed by the negative impact of a one-time payment related to the tax reform in the US.

Recent Base Metals News

Editor's pick