ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 03/05: Aluminium, nickel rise in mixed trading on LME; US gives investors more time to divest or transfer Rusal holdings; some US tin consumers avoiding Bolivian metal

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Thursday May 3.

Base metals on the London Metal Exchange were split at the close of trading on Wednesday May 2, with aluminium and nickel prices climbing more than 2%. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how prices looked at Wednesday’s close:

The United States has given investors an additional month to divest or transfer their holdings in sanctioned Russian companies, including UC Rusal, according to the US Department of the Treasury.

Some tin consumers in the US have refused to take metal from Empresa Metalúrgica Vinto’s smelter in Bolivia after the company was cut from Apple’s supplier list – a move largely lambasted by industry participants.

Concern in the market surrounding recent sanctions against Rusal pushed the Midwest aluminium premium higher this month, widening the import aluminium arbitrage between Asia and the US.

Some secondary aluminium alloy prices have continued to move higher in the United States due to lingering raw material cost pressures and tight supply, although a cooling off in the terminal markets is eroding some of the upward momentum.

The US copper market is entering its seasonal peak period in May, and while market participants haven’t yet reported increased premiums a consensus is emerging of an impending rise.

Zug, Switzerland-based AMR Trading has named ex-Rusal executive Alex Tattersall its new chief executive officer, while Vitaly Sidorov has taken the helm of parent company AMR-BK Group, which owns Russian aluminium sheet and plate plant Belaya Kalitva.

Metals market veteran Michael Hutchinson has joined the board of Switzerland’s Tiberius group as non-executive chairman, Tiberius told Metal Bulletin on May 2.

Refining charges for blister copper, a substitute for copper scrap in refined production, fell in April following a drop in scrap imports into China.

In ferrous news, Siderperú - the Peruvian subsidiary of South American steelmaker Gerdau, has reported a nearly fourfold increase in its net profit for the first quarter of 2018 due to higher prices and increased shipping volumes.

Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest has managed to increase pig iron exports by raising its production rate while decreasing production of merchant steel slab, the company said in its operational report for the first quarter.

The Argentinian government has agreed to quotas on steel products exported to the US, thus avoiding tariffs associated with the country’s Section 232 investigation, according to national steel association Acero Argentino.

US mills have been injured by imports of carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod from Italy, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom, the US International Trade Commission said in a final determination issued on May 1.

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