Lead prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange outperformed during Asian morning trading on Tuesday, supported by low inventory levels and supply-side concerns.

Meanwhile, copper prices continued their recent run of strength, albeit at a slower pace, after trading activity thinned and investors looked to take profits at these elevated levels.

Check Metal Bulletin's live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 3am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price
($ per tonne)
Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 6,970 -5
Aluminium 2,313 -1
Lead 2,492 -14
Zinc 3,111 -11
Tin 20,620 45
Nickel 15,385 -100

SHFE snapshot at 10am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price
(yuan per tonne)
Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper (July) 52,040 280
Aluminium (July) 14,630 -10
Zinc (July) 24,185 80
Lead (July) 20,425 540
Tin  (September) 152,270 490
Nickel  (July) 116,450 -380

US scrap exporters are enjoying short-term relief from the restart of China’s North American customs inspections division, but longer-term fears are emerging about stricter guidelines complicating future shipments and trade with that nation.

Leading Chinese stainless steel mills last week issued higher ferro-chrome tender prices for June, which lent support to the prices for UG2 chrome ore and ferro-chrome.

The US aluminium billet upcharge has remained steady at its all-time high this week, with market participants confirming continued difficulty in obtaining spot material.

A global meeting of senior aluminium executives has heard calls for a multilateral solution for the problem of overcapacity. The goal would be integrating China and its state-owned enterprises into the world trading system in a way that is acceptable to major market economy regulators.

Canada's minister of international trade told world aluminium sector leaders on Monday that he deplored the United States' imposition of duties against imports of Canadian metal, branding it “deeply troubling and unacceptable.”

And finally, be sure to check out the six key takeaways from Metal Bulletin’s Sixth International Nickel Conference in Toronto, Canada, on May 31 and June 1.