EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 15/03: SHFE base metals prices broadly weaker; US nickel premiums strengthen; LME to review discounted fees structure

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

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Base metals traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were broadly weaker during Asian morning trading on Thursday, with heavy losses seen in nickel and zinc prices, while lead was the only metal to push higher.

Disappointing US data overnight and dovish speech from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has dented market optimism over the global growth outlook, prompting metals prices to drop this morning.

Check Metal Bulletin's live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.52am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 6,993 4.5
Aluminium 2,091 2
Lead 2,393 -11
Zinc 3,230.5 4.5
Tin 21,175 25
Nickel 13,800 -35

SHFE snapshot at 10.58am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper 52260 -70
Aluminium 13960 0
Lead 18520 135
Zinc 24820 -375
Tin 144550 -620
Nickel 104,160 -690

The London Metal Exchange will review its discounted fees structure and make an announcement over the summer as to whether they will be extended, according to the exchange’s chief executive officer (CEO).

The US and European physical nickel markets remained tight in the week ended March 13, while a glut of domestic supply and wider import losses in China kept the premium market there in check.

Ending a policy of a fee holiday on new LME contracts could help eliminate those systematic financial traders that have a very short-term approach to trading metals, the exchange’s CEO said.

Unwrought aluminium imports into the United States slipped year on year in the first month of 2018 while Canadian volumes fell to a four-year low - and further drops are expected given uncertainty about the recently implemented Section 232 tariffs from US President Donald Trump.

Novelis Inc is experiencing production delays at one of its aluminium rolling mills in Brazil due to a roof collapse there earlier this month, the company confirmed to American Metal Market on Wednesday.

Atlas Iron is moving into the export market for manganese ore with prices continuing to rally, the company said.

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