Chinese domestic prices suffer heavy falls on building steel inventory levels and persistent first-quarter demand worries, with rebar facing the toughest challenge.

Chinese copper smelter Guangxi Nanguo has recently declared force majeure on shipments of copper concentrates, citing logistics difficulties arising from the transport system lockdown imposed to contain the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Fastmarkets has learnt.

Logistics constraints caused by the transport system lockdown in China, imposed to contain the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, were pushing European manganese flake prices upward with inventory levels falling in Rotterdam.

Most ferro-chrome smelters had covered their ore needs for this week and logistics disruptions are minimal between ports and many major smelters. But logistics disruptions are hitting mills as they seek alloy. Predictions of higher prices have not been realized so far.

China imported 1,623 tonnes of cobalt metal in 2019, up 54.6% from 1,050 tonnes in 2018, according to official but unconfirmed data seen by Fastmarkets