ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 16/03: Most base metals drift but zinc, lead buck trend; Norway’s Finnfjord to reduce ferro-silicon output due to maintenance; miners arrive in DRC for talks to resolve dispute on code

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

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were mostly lower at the close on Thursday March 15, apart from zinc and lead. Read more in our live futures report.

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

Norwegian ferro-silicon producer Finnfjord Smelteverk plans to cut about 5,000 tonnes of production between April and June this year due to planned maintenance of its furnaces, an industry source told Metal Bulletin.

Major international mining companies have descended on the Democratic Republic of Congo for talks aimed at resolving a dispute over the country’s new mining code. 

Dutch wire products supplier Van Merksteijn confirmed that it has ordered an electric-arc furnace and wire rod rolling mill, which will allow the company to reduce its reliance on wire rod imports.

The large price gap between European and Asian prices for stainless steel is making it difficult for stainless producers to raise EU base prices, according to the top executive of Spanish stainless steel producer Acerinox.

EU authorities have rescheduled a decision on the sale of Italian flat-rolled steel producer Ilva until late April, according to the European Commission.

Peru’s iron ore output rose by nearly 33% in January, according to statistics released by the country’s mining ministry.

Egyptian steel billet and rebar prices rose again this week due to improving demand.