ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 06/04: Zinc down on LME; CME average daily trading vols hit all-time high in first quarter; South32 inks annual lead concentrate supply deal

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Friday April 6.

Zinc prices came under further pressure on the London Metal Exchange on Thursday April 5 while the rest of the base metals complex moved higher, with market sentiment improving due to potential talks between the United States and China around trade tensions. Read more in our live futures report.

Here is how prices finished Thursday afternoon.

CME Group’s average daily volumes reached an all-time high of 22.2 million contracts in the first quarter, up 30% year on year, the exchange said on April 3.

Miner South32, which supplies lead concentrates from its Cannington mine in Australia, has signed a 2018 annual lead concentrate supply contract with at least one major smelter that includes a 21.4% drop in headline treatment and refining charges, sources told Metal Bulletin.

Comex copper prices bounced back in US morning trading on Thursday, with the May-delivery contract jumping 6.65 cents to $3.0770 per lb.

Teck Resources Ltd has increased its stake in Compañía Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca SA (QBSA) to 90% through the purchase of private Chilean firm Inversiones Mineras SA, the Canadian company said. QBSA’s principal asset is the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 copper development project in northern Chile.

South Korea’s Public Procurement Service has floated a tender to procure 500 tonnes of grade A copper cathode, according to a notice from the state agency.

JXTG, Japan’s energy and metal conglomerate, expects to post an impairment loss of 65 billion yen ($606.8 million) for its Chilean Caserones copper project following a series of production problems last year. The loss was attributed to changes in the mining plan due to a fault in an ore pit and a review on long-term production plan, the mine’s majority owner said.

In light of feedback received as part of the consultation on its international cobalt price specifications, Metal Bulletin is seeking additional input from those active in the cobalt market.

In the aluminium versus steel debate, experts told American Metal Market that they expect automakers to continue using a mixed-material approach to lightweighting vehicles into the next decade despite the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcing plans to revise greenhouse gas and corporate average fuel economy (Cafe) standards.

Zorba prices are beginning to fall in the United States, with fears of mounting supplies rippling through the market due to China’s 25% tariff on US aluminium scrap imports. All signs point to a steep drop in pricing, according to US buyer and seller sources.

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