ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 12/04: Aluminium leads gains on LME; Brazil’s aluminium industry to request increase on ingot import tax-free quota; Glencore force majeure said declared on Russia-origin metal contracts

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Thursday April 12.

Aluminium continued to rally on the London Metal Exchange at the close of trading on Wednesday April 11, recording its highest close since January 2. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how prices looked at Wednesday’s close:

Brazil’s aluminium industry will ask the government to increase volumes on the ingot import tax-free quota by 50% from July onward due to supply constraints and a modest demand recovery, Metal Bulletin understands.

Glencore Plc is said to have declared force majeure on about 50,000 tonnes of contracts specifying Russia-origin metal, according to media reports citing anonymous sources.

The chairman of Chilean state-run copper producer Codelco told Metal Bulletin that the company will play a small role in the lithium market and has no plans to compete with some of the world’s giants in the field.

Roberto Ecclefield, Codelco’s new commercial vice president, told Metal Bulletin that supply of copper concentrates will remain tight for another five years due to a lack of new mining projects and excess smelting capacity.

Copper miner Antofogasta is evaluating two options for expansion of its Centinela copper operations in Chile and will approve one by year-end, Iván Arriagada, the company’s chief executive officer, told Metal Bulletin.

A trade war between the United States and China is unlikely to affect copper unless there is a knock-on effect on economic growth, according to Arriagada, who also told Metal Bulletin that demand for electric vehicles will grow significantly once the cost to the consumer falls to parity with diesel-powered cars.

Labor negotiations at some of copper’s key mines will not necessarily follow similar paths this year in terms of contract settlements, Arriagada said. 

South Korea’s Public Procurement Service has awarded two 2,000-tonne aluminium tenders at premiums as high as $125 per tonne, the state agency said in a notice on April 10.

A wave of volatility has swept through aluminium scrap markets in the United States due to drastic trade policy changes, with mill- and smelter-grade prices moving in opposite directions.

In ferrous news, Russian steelmaker Severstal increased its export sales volumes to 48% of all sales during the first quarter of this year, up by six percentage points from 42% in the fourth quarter of 2017 due to the higher profitability of exports, according to its latest operational results statement.

The Algerian government has approved the sale of a 49% stake in the state-owned El-Hadjar Iron & Steel Complex to United Arab Emirates-based steel and construction company Emarat Dzayer, the Algerian prime minister’s office said late on April 10.

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