ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 10/01: LME nickel continues rally as other base metals fall; Comex copper dips; Liberty House in deal to acquire Rio Tinto’s Dunkerque aluminium smelter

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Wednesday January 10.

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were mostly lower at the close on Tuesday January 9, with only nickel trading in positive territory. Read more in our live futures report.

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

Comex copper prices weakened during morning trading in the United States, although the complex remains well supported due to positive Chinese and US data released over the past few weeks.

Elsewhere in base metals, Liberty House has reached an agreement to acquire Rio Tinto’s Dunkerque aluminium smelter in northern France, sources with knowledge of the matter told Metal Bulletin.

The Czech Republic’s Metal Trade Comax Group has acquired all the shares of Oetinger Aluminium in Germany from private equity group Orlando Management.

High zinc prices could eventually lead to an irreversible dent in substitution of the metal, specifically in the form of zinc alloys in electric vehicles, market participants told Metal Bulletin.

In raw materials, pellet production volumes at Ukraine-focused iron ore producer Ferrexpo fell by nearly 6.8% year on year to 10.44 million tonnes in 2017.

Iron ore exports from Western Australia’s Port Hedland rose 5% year on year to the highest ever in December, according to data released by the Pilbara Ports Authority on Tuesday January 9.

Benchmark alumina prices fell due to limited buying interest for spot cargoes in the Pacific market despite a recovery in smelter margins.

In the steel market, Dutch wire products supplier Van Merksteijn plans to build a mesh-quality wire rod mill with an 800,000-tonne-per-year capacity at the Eemshaven seaport in the Netherlands, the company confirmed to Metal Bulletin.

Brazilian carbon steel slab and billet exports increased in 2017, according to national foreign trade ministry MDIC.

The steel industries in Europe and Turkey will continue to grapple with elevated graphite electrode costs in 2018 despite some recent easing in prices.

US steelmakers Nucor and Gerdau Long Steel North America have raised prices for most wide-flange and H-pile products by $45 per ton ($2.25 per hundredweight) effective with new orders on Tuesday January 9, the companies said separately.

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