ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 16/05: LME base metals split; bullion banks to lose precious metals business to exchanges; European ferro-chrome benchmark expected to have staying power in short term

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Wednesday May 16.

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were mixed again at the close of trading on Tuesday May 15, with aluminium and zinc rising while copper, lead and tin declined. Read more our live futures report.

Here are how prices looked at the close of trading:

Meanwhile, the new and tighter global regulatory environment has left bullion banks in a state of transformation, with exchanges seizing the opportunities created as a result.

In ores and alloys, market acceptance of the quarterly European ferro-chrome benchmark system will continue for at least the short term, according to market participants polled by Metal Bulletin.

Industrial action has halted traffic along a key road for moving semi-carbonate manganese ore from mines in Hotazel in South Africa’s Northern Cape.

In the steel market, Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu has signed an agreement with Swedish engineering group Sandvik to acquire full ownership of the Fagersta stainless steel wire rod mill in Sweden for €18 million ($21.53 million).
Russia’s Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) might delay a restart of the melt shop at its MMK Metalurji unit in Turkey due to uncertainty in the market stemming from the Section 232 investigation in the United States and the start of a safeguard investigation in the European Union.

Steel Dynamics Inc has acquired CSN LLC from Brazilian iron ore and steel producer Cia Siderurgica Nacional for $400 million in cash.

German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp expects “continued stable and high prices on the commodity and material markets” for the remainder of its financial year, which will end on September 30, 2018.

The graphite electrodes used in electric-arc furnace steelmaking have changed from being a commodity to a strategic material, with prices surging last year amid dramatic changes in market conditions, attendees of an industry conference were told.

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