EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 09/02: SHFE base metals prices all lower; BHP ramping up Olympic Dam; Chinese aluminium exports up again in Jan

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Shanghai as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Friday February 9.

Base metals traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were all in negative territory during Asian morning trading on Friday, with copper prices pressured by a combination of dollar strength and stock increases on the London Metal Exchange.

The most-traded April copper contract on the SHFE fell to 51,650 yuan ($8,174) per tonne as of 10.23 am Shanghai time, down by 470 yuan or 0.9% from the previous day’s close.

Check Metal Bulletin's live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.22 am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 6,822.50 -22.5
Aluminium 2,166.50 -3.5
Lead 2,535 10.5
Zinc 3,394 -27.5
Tin 21,460 135
Nickel 13,020 -120

SHFE snapshot at 10.23 am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper  51,650 -470
Aluminium 14,180 -35
Zinc 26,185 -70
Lead 19,075 -5
Tin  149,040 -320
Nickel  99,810 -660

BHP will ramp up its Olympic Dam copper smelter in South Australia to full capacity in the first quarter of this year after completing a A$350-million ($273 million) upgrade, the company said on Friday.

Chinese export volumes of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products rose for a third consecutive month and increased by 14.3% on an annual basis in January, according to preliminary Chinese customs data released on Thursday.

Copper prices have fallen to their weakest point since mid-December after volatility returned to the equity market, although the commodities arena is not completely reflecting the chaos emerging in the two major equity indices.

Copper and brass scrap spreads and prices maintained a steady footing in the United States despite a 10.8-cent per lb drop in Comex copper prices over the past week, with market participants temporarily stepping to the sidelines seeking clarity.

Attorneys representing the US have commenced a forfeiture action on aluminium pallets seized from warehouses operated by Perfectus Aluminum Inc, claiming the nearly 300,000 pallets seized are part of a long-alleged transshipment scheme by China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd.

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