ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 21/02: Base metals retreat; US Section 232 creates issues abroad; two companies seek LME Category 5 membership

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Wednesday February 21.

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were largely lower at the 5pm close on Tuesday February 20, except for lead. Read more in our live futures report.

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

The imposition of import tariffs and/or quotas on aluminium and aluminium products by the United States government could push Asian premiums up in the short term but drive them down in the long term, market participants said.

Japan’s hot-rolled coil exports could come under threat if the US implements high import tariffs based on the recommendation by the US Commerce Department, market sources told Metal Bulletin on Tuesday.

Two companies have filed applications to the London Metal Exchange for Category 5 membership, which would allow them to receive client contracts.

Brazilian aluminium premiums, especially for metal sold domestically, are facing increased upward pressure in the spot market due to soaring US Midwest premiums, with the industry preparing for potential heavy sanctions on shipments to the US.

China’s charge chrome import prices have moved higher, and South African producers raised offers following the appreciation of the rand while prices weakened both in Europe and the US.

BHP Billiton has revised its copper equivalent volume growth to 6% for fiscal 2018 from 7% previously due to lower anticipated volumes at its Broadmeadow and Blackwater mines in Queensland, Australia.

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