The second quarter of 2020 will be one of volume survival due to massive capacity cuts in scrap, billet and long steel products globally amid Easter and Ramadan holiday periods and during efforts to contain the coronavirus, the International Rebar Producers & Exporters Association (Irepas) said on Friday April 3.

Hong Kong trading house Noble Group Holdings will close its base metals and rare earths trading desks as part of widespread board-mandated staffing cuts, informed sources told Fastmarkets.

Glencore-owned Mopani Copper Mines is to transition its operations to care-and-maintenance status from Wednesday April 8, but will continue to process on-site material at the associated Zambian smelter and refinery until further notice.

The Chinese high-carbon ferro-chrome market continued to rise in the week to April 3 after smelters reduced their supply in the spot market, despite the weak stainless steel sector.

Striking the right balance between supply and demand for lithium has been difficult, given the still relatively nascent demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and the time needed to ramp up lithium production.