The United States Midwest aluminium premium hit a nearly four-month high on August 4, with the market widely assuming further increases due to expectations that Canada will again face US tariffs - a factor that has continued to boost offers and tighten discounting.

Price fluctuations in the high-grade iron ore market remain a key concern for Chinese steelmakers, especially with iron ore fines hitting an intra-year high on August 3. Steelmakers in China have started using a more price-sensitive approach from July onward by consuming slightly cheaper low- and mid-grade iron ore fines, trading sources said.

South Korean battery maker LG Chem, one of the leading suppliers of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, expects strong sales and improved profitability in the third quarter of this year because shipments of EV batteries to Europe are likely to increase, it said. 

Spot supply of blister copper improved to boost the intermediate copper product’s refining charges (RC) in July, mainly due to arrival of delayed African cargoes at Chinese ports, Fastmarkets heard.

Numerous ore and alloy markets enjoyed upward pricing momentum in the first half 2020, with supply-side constraints supporting prices despite collapsing demand from steelmakers and other key end users. While supply side issues related to Covid-19 lockdowns have been resolved, ore and alloy prices have retreated, Fastmarkets’ team of analysts noted in the latest Ferro-alloys Market Tracker.