ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 15/12: LME base metals rise, barring lead; China’s EV boom to spark lithium capacity growth; Rio Tinto to increase mined copper output in 2018 after falling short this year

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Friday December 15.

Base metal prices registered sustained buying, aside from lead, in London Metal Exchange trade on Thursday December 14, with the market ignoring recent dollar strength spurred by the US Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates. Read more in our live futures report.

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


The electric vehicle boom in China is expected to spark lithium capacity growth in the country next year to meet the increased demand, Metal Bulletin learned at the 2017 International Lithium conference in Chengdu, China.

Rio Tinto will ramp up its mined copper output next year despite falling short of 2017 guidance.

An ongoing strike at Empresa Nacional de Mineria’s Paipote smelter in Chile is affecting the operations of its five copper processing plants, which have run out of sulfuric acid, the company said.

Iran’s Mobarakeh Steel, the country’s largest flat steel producer, aims to increase its slab exports rapidly over the next couple of years, managing director Bahram Sobhani told Metal Bulletin in an interview.

US ferrous scrap and pig iron imports jumped in October due to plummeting global export prices for both products.

US wire rod prices have risen due to a combination of higher US ferrous scrap prices and graphite electrode costs.

Argentina’s crude steel output increased by more than 18% in November, according to national steel association Acero Argentino.

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