ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 16/02: Aluminium defies upward trend in base metals; copper TCs/RCs slip in first half of February; China’s zinc output forecast to rise, demand to fall

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Friday February 16.

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were broadly higher at the close on Thursday February 15, with only aluminium falling. Read more in our live futures report.

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

Copper concentrate treatment and refining charges dropped marginally in the first half of February after traders purchased nearby tonnages from mines at increasingly competitive levels and smelters eased off buying ahead of Asia’s Lunar New Year holidays.

A rise in Chinese zinc production over the coming years will coincide with either a fall or a moderation in that country’s demand for the material, according to Claire Hassall, director and zinc market specialist at base metal research firm CHR Metals.

An uptick in Chinese zinc mine production combined with a reduction in demand should push LME prices lower in the second half of this year, a senior base metals analyst at Macquarie Group said.

Potential trade remedies as a result of the United States’ Section 232 investigation into aluminium imports could utilize a nuanced approach in the government’s effort to curb transshipment and duty evasion concerns.

Australian mining company South32 reported higher aluminium production in the first half of its 2018 financial year ended December 31, 2017, coinciding with a period of higher aluminium prices.

Canadian copper producer Capstone has sold its Minto mine to mining company Pembridge Resources for $37.5 million.

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