EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 31/05: SHFE base metals prices all up; N American value-added Ali shipments jump in April; zinc conc TCs at 5-mth high

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Asia as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Thursday May 31.

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Base metal prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were all up during Asian morning trading on Thursday, finding support from the release of positive Chinese data and a weaker dollar.

China’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for May surprised to the upside with a reading of 51.9, surpassing an expected print of 51.4, according to data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Meanwhile, China’s services PMI for May was broadly in line with expectations, narrowly beating an expected print of 54.8 with a reading of 54.9.

Check Metal Bulletin's live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.40am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 6,841.50 1.5
Aluminium 2,266.00 -4
Lead 2,445 10
Zinc 3,134 3.5
Tin 20740 165
Nickel 15,110 -20

SHFE snapshot at 09.40am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper  51,250 470
Aluminium 14,720 30
Zinc 24,390 430
Lead 20,010 175
Tin  155,750 2,450
Nickel  113,950 2,300

Shipments of value-added products by US and Canadian aluminium producers experienced a substantial jump in April following the imposition of sanctions last month against Russian supplier UC Rusal plc.

Zinc concentrate treatment charges (TCs) rose to their highest level this year in May, with smelters refraining from purchases of spot tonnages. And the upward trend in lead concentrate TCs reversed after an import arbitrage opened up in China.

South32 has agreed to buy a 50% stake in Australian metallurgical coal project Eagle Downs from Aquila Resources, a subsidiary of China Baowu Steel Group.

Tight spot supply of Iranian lead ingots has pushed up premiums for major importers such as India and some Southeast Asian countries, while premiums for zinc remain stable across global markets with levels in Europe holding at a multi-year low.

Tin premiumsfell further in Europe to hit four-month lows following a substantial jump in exports from Indonesia in May, while premiums in the United States and China were more resilient against downside pressure and held stable.

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