The digitization of the iron ore market took another step forward this week with trader Cargill completing its first e-contract transaction for iron ore with a Chinese steelmaker, Ningbo Iron & Steel.

Chinese copper smelter Jiangxi Copper and Zambian blister copper producer Chambishi (CCS) have signed a 2020 supply contract at a refining charge of $128 per tonne cif China, Fastmarkets learned.

China’s domestic lithium carbonate price weakened in the week to Thursday December 12, while the rest of the world’s battery-grade lithium prices held steady due to thin buying activities on the spot market.

South Africa’s largest ferro-chrome producer Samancor Chrome will cut back both mine and smelter operations in response to “persistent depressed prices” and electricity supply constraints, it announced on Friday December 6.

Cobalt buyers returned to the market this week, but prices fell further towards $15 per lb while sellers sought to offload stock ahead of the end of the year.