This follows on from the weakness witnessed on the London Metal Exchange on Monday, when the exchange’s three-month aluminium price declined by 7.5% after the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said it will not impose secondary sanctions on non-US persons for engaging in the same activity involving Rusal or its subsidiaries that the General License 14 authorizes.
The US also said that it would consider lifting the sanctions if Rusal’s major shareholder, Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, ceded control of the company.
“US Treasury comments on the pathway to relieve sanctions against UC Rusal pushed base metal prices down sharply,” ANZ Research noted on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, nickel, which had previously benefitted from speculation about possible US sanctions against Russian nickel producer Nornickel, also suffered a considerable decline following the US’ softer stance on the Rusal sanctions.
The July nickel contract price on the SHFE fell by 1% or 1,110 yuan to 103,820 yuan per tonne as of 10.24am Shanghai time.
The weaker tone in aluminium and nickel spread through to the rest of the base metals, with only zinc managing to eke out a slight gain.
Base metals prices
- The SHFE September tin contract price fell 1,530 yuan to 146,620 yuan per tonne.
- The SHFE June copper contract price slumped 320 yuan to 51,540 yuan per tonne.
- The SHFE June lead contract price was down 85 yuan to 18,355 yuan per tonne.
- The SHFE June zinc contract price inched up 10 yuan to 24,510 yuan per tonne.
Currency moves and data releases
- The dollar index was flat at 90.93 as of 11.35am Shanghai time.
- In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price decreased by 0.18% to $74.88 per barrel as of 10.28am Shanghai time, while the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price was down by 0.06% to $68.87.
- In equities, the Shanghai Composite was up by 2.07% to 3,131.52 as of 11.30am Shanghai time.
- In US data today, we have the April CB consumer confidence reading and new home sales for March of note.
|LME snapshot at 03.23am London time|
|Latest three-month LME Prices|
|Price ($ per tonne)||Change since yesterday's close ($)|
|SHFE snapshot at 10.24am Shanghai time|
|Most-traded SHFE contracts|
|Price (yuan per tonne)||Change since yesterday's close (yuan)|
|Changjiang spot snapshot on April 24|
|Range (yuan per tonne)||Change (yuan)|