ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 12/12: LME copper price jumps on LME; Saudi Arabia’s rebar imports hit by weak domestic demand; Middle East steel market outlook picks up on higher oil pricing

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Wednesday December 12.

Base metal prices rose on the London Metal Exchange by the close on Tuesday December 11, with copper surging after market sentiment was boosted by positive news of easing tensions between China and the United States. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how prices looked at the close of trading:

Saudi Arabia has not imported rebar in 2018 and cannot utilize its full production capacity due to weak domestic demand, Ahmed Al-Hussain, rebar director of Saudi National Committee for Steel Industry, said at Fastmarkets MB’s Middle East Iron and Steel Conference in Dubai on December 11.  

The outlook for the Middle East steel market is improving because of higher oil prices, Abu Bucker Husain, chief executive officer of United Arab Emirates-based Al Ghurair Iron & Steel, said in his presentation at the Dubai conference on Tuesday.

Flat steel import prices in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been stable over the past week due to limited demand near year end, sources said on Tuesday.

US ferrous scrap exports were pushed higher in October, with lower ferrous scrap export prices sparking healthy demand from Mexico and Asia and offsetting significantly reduced shipments to Turkey.

Brazil’s Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio will invest 30 million Reais ($7.7 million) to increase its aluminium billet production capacity, the company’s primary operations director, Luis Jorge Nunes, told Fastmarkets MB on Monday.

TradeCloud is set to allow its users to report business concluded on the platform to Fastmarkets automatically, TradeCloud CEO Simon Collins said.

What to read next
The three-month copper price on the London Metal Exchange has slumped significantly since hitting an all-time high of $11,104.50 per tonne on Monday May 20
Copper fabricators in China and the wider Southeast Asian region continue to feel the pain of high copper prices on futures exchanges and a lack of new orderbooks, with some having already asked for a postponing of shipments of long-term copper cathodes, sources told Fastmarkets in the week to Wednesday, May 15.
Could the copper market bullish marathon be taking a mini break? Fastmarkets senior analyst Andy Farida looks at London Metal Exchange copper price movements.
Global copper futures prices are in a frenzy, with record highs being logged on the New York-based Commodity Exchange (Comex), London Metal Exchange and Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) in recent days
Copper prices have pushed up on global metal exchanges in recent weeks and the London Metal Exchange three-month copper price hit an all-time high on Monday May 20, but what are the key reasons behind the record-breaking surge in prices?
Fundamental supply tightness was part of the reason behind this week's LME three-month copper contract all-time high, but the rate of change was also down to an influx of financial investors and the interconnected squeeze on short positions on COMEX, sources told Fastmarkets