Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange ended mostly lower at the close of trading on Tuesday May 8, with aluminium and zinc bucking the trend. Read more in our live futures report.



Brazil's primary aluminium export volumes increased by 82.7% year on year in April due to increased shipments from Norsk Hydro’s Albras unit to Japan.

An increasing threat of protectionism and the potential for retaliatory measures leading to a global trade war is the key risk to an otherwise positive outlook for the steel market in Europe, regional steel association Eurofer said.

An upcoming European Union/New Zealand free-trade agreement will benefit the metals industry, New Zealand and European experts told Metal Bulletin after a preparatory customs agreement between the partners came into force on May 1.

Meanwhile, the global construction sector is expected to grow at an average rate of 3.7% per year over the next five years, reaching an annual value of $12.4 trillion by 2022 versus $10.4 trillion in 2017, a rebar producers’ conference has heard.

Also in steel, global steel slab prices decreased in April but trading remained weak in all regions due to poor demand and uncertainty about how the market will develop after the Section 232 trade investigation in the United States.

Exporters of hot-rolled coil and cold-rolled coil from the Commonwealth of Independent States have not cut offers further, citing a slight improvement in the global market.

Brazilian export volumes of carbon steel slab soared in April 2018 while billet exports fell, according to figures released by foreign trade ministry MDIC.