ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 08/03: LME base metals end day in red; Aurubis open to M&A opportunities; Atlantic Copper to maximize output at Huelva smelter

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Thursday March 8.

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange slumped by the 5pm close on Wednesday March 7, with a sell-off spurred by uncertainty stemming from the latest developments over the United States’ Section 232 probe. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how LME prices looked at Wednesday’s close:

Europe’s largest copper smelter, Aurubis, is open to exploring merger and acquisition opportunities outside of the continent while it looks to double down on processing and refining raw copper, chief executive officer Jürgen Schachler told Metal Bulletin in an interview.

Spain’s Atlantic Copper will be looking to maximize output at its Huelva smelter even as it expects the copper concentrates market to tighten further, the company’s chief executive officer Javier Targhetta told Metal Bulletin in an interview.

China’s restriction on imports of some copper scrap products has already caused the industry to make some process changes but many questions are still unanswered, a panel of scrap experts said at Metal Bulletin’s 31st International Copper Conference in Madrid.

Around 2.5 million tonnes of copper output is highly exposed to disruption risks this year in Chile, the country’s copper commission said at the conference.

Copper demand derived from the shift to electric vehicles is expected to be constrained by availability of other key metals, including cobalt, a panelist said at the conference.

Japan’s Kobe Steel has rolled out a series of measures to prevent incidents such as its recent data-falsification scandal from recurring again. This includes replacing some of its executives and restricting its management and reporting systems.

Fears about a looming US import duty on aluminium as a result of the country’s Section 232 investigations have dashed hopes of the market taking advantage of a widening aluminium import arbitrage between Asia and the US.

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