FastMarkets on zinc TCs and North Korean zinc

A round-up of the top FastMarkets stories from September 22. 

Base metals ended Thursday LME trading in positive territory – most hit multi-week highs today thanks to a weaker dollar after the US Federal Open Committee (FOMC) stood pat.

Chinese zinc smelters are increasingly turning towards North Korea as a source of concentrates supply rather than traditional overseas partners while treatment charges (TCs) in the international market remain soft, market observers claimed.

Several members of ICBC Standard Bank’s base metals team have left the company, including head of trading Mark Thompson, sources told Metal Bulletin.

Treatment charges (TCs) for zinc and lead concentrate have dropped below $100 per tonne for the first time in several years, as some smelters finally accepted lower terms for spot purchases in light of tightening supply.

Attendees at the FOW Trading conference here cast doubts on China’s ability to open up its commodities futures markets to overseas participants any time soon. 

Aluminium trader Stephen Upot has returned to the metals market after leaving Red Kite – he has set up his own trading firm, Converse Commodities Ltd, FastMarkets has learned.

Former Trafigura trader Ross Miles has joined HDP Trading in London this month to develop an aluminium trading book.

Physical copper and aluminium trader Vadim Linchevsky has joined Viant Commodities.

The share trading halts of Chinalco Mining Corp International (CMCI) and Chinese aluminium extruder, Xingfa Aluminium Holdings, on the Hong Kong stock exchange have extended into a week, sparking speculation that CMCI’s parent company Chinalco could be taking over Xingfa.