ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 06/12: Copper prices tumble on LME, Comex; SMB, Winning Shipping plan Guinea alumina refinery; Trafigura to replace Glencore as largest Nyrstar zinc offtake partner

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Wednesday December 6.

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange closed the day in negative territory on Tuesday December 5, with copper falling to its lowest level since October 5. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how prices looked at the end of the day on Tuesday.

Comex copper prices experienced a massive sell-off in the United States on Tuesday morning due to growing warehouse stocks and market participants heading to the sidelines ahead of the Christmas holiday season.

Elsewhere in base metals, Société Minière de Boké and Singapore’s Winning Shipping plan to construct an alumina refinery in Guinea by 2022.

The balance of power in the refined zinc market will shift in 2019 when Trafigura replaces Glencore as the largest offtake partner of Nyrstar.

Glencore Canada and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan have formed a joint-venture base metals streaming and royalties business, BaseCore Metals, which will tie in with Glencore’s marketing arm.

In the steel market, Italian long steel producer Ferriera Valsabbia intends to increase its output of rebar by 50% and has ordered new endless rolling technology to do so, according to equipment supplier Primetals. Global demand for long steel products has improved “compared with previous months [because] exports from China are still far from putting too much pressure on the international market,” according to the International Rebar Exporters & Producers Association.

Germany’s IG Metall has asked steelmaker ThyssenKrupp to provide details of the proposed merger of its European flat steel operations with those of Tata Steel by December 22.

High steel prices in the global market are creating opportunities for adjustments in the countries where long steel-focused mill Gerdau operates, chief executive officer André Gerdau Johannpeter has said.

What to read next
The US government will impose tariffs on steel and aluminium shipped from Mexico that were made elsewhere, in a bid to curb trans-shipment and excess production, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday July 10, a move widely applauded by the pair of metals industries
Norway-based aluminium producer Hydro and German car manufacturer Porsche signed a long-term agreement on Tuesday July 9 for supply of low-carbon aluminium to further decarbonize the supply chain of Porsche’s sports cars. The agreement follows the letter of intent signed in April
The Indonesian government is looking to ease its export ban on bauxite, sources familiar with the matter have told Fastmarkets
Price and supply were the major topics of conversation for market participants across the value chain attending Fastmarkets’ flagship Lithium Supply and Battery Raw Materials conference in Las Vegas on June 24-27
Russia's war against Ukraine is using millions of copper-containing shells, which has increased demand for the red metal, sources told Fastmarkets
A new incentive program for companies with large investments in Argentina might unlock the country’s mining potential in the medium term, market participants recently told Fastmarkets