EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 28/02: Disappointing Chinese data sinks SHFE copper prices; US Midwest ali premium continues climb; Commerce finalizes duties on China ali foil

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Singapore as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Wednesday February 28.

Base metals traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were down across the board during Asian morning trading on Wednesday, with a firmer dollar and disappointing Chinese macro-economic data denting sentiment for the complex.

Check Metal Bulletin's live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 01.57am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 7,018 -3
Aluminium 2,147.50 0.5
Lead 2,584 8
Zinc 3,479 -8
Tin 21,690 -35
Nickel 13,795 -50

SHFE snapshot at 09.57am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper  52,700 -670
Aluminium 14,245 -40
Zinc 26,350 -310
Lead 19,395 -105
Tin  148,200 -50
Nickel  104,800 -1,200

Aluminium markets across the globe continue to focus on the eventual outcome of the United States’ Section 232 investigation into aluminium imports, but speculation-fueled increases in global premiums tied to the possible imposition of import tariffs have slowed amid a persistent backwardation in spreads on the London Metal Exchange.

The US Department of Commerce has finalized its duties on imports of aluminium foil from China, revising trade duties from its preliminary rulings.

Union workers locked out of their jobs at the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc (ABI) smelter in the Canadian province of Quebec took to the streets on Tuesday, demonstrating outside of a conference where the top executive of majority owner Alcoa Corp was speaking.

Secondary aluminium alloy prices in the United States have stepped higher on a combination of steady demand plus rising raw material and transportation costs, although volatility on the LME could weigh on further increases.

Historic payment structures are enabling zinc smelters to raise primary output even as market-related terms such as metal premiums and concentrate treatment charges remain low; but the opposite is true for lead.

Primary aluminium production at Emirates Global Aluminium rose 4% to a record 2.6 million tonnes in 2017, the aluminium producer said on Tuesday February 27.

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