Import prices of flat-rolled steel in South America made no clear trend for the past week while negotiations between sellers and buyers for March shipments intensified and put some markets under pressure ahead of the Chinese New Year break (January 24-30).

Aluminium billet premiums in Brazil and Japan ticked down on January 17 due to weak demand, while premiums in Europe and the United States were steady on unchanged fundamentals.

Fastmarkets' copper concentrates treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) continued to increase this week, with smelters and traders now largely squared for the first quarter.

All battery-grade lithium compound prices were steady week on week on Thursday January 16, with market activity thinning in Asia ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays while renewed demand supported prices in Europe and the United States.

Glencore plans to restructure its Rustenburg ferro-chrome smelter in South Africa due to deteriorating conditions in the ferro-chrome market and high power costs, the trader-miner announced on January 17.