ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 21/12: LME base metal price moves split; Rotterdam aluminium premium down after US announces plan to remove sanctions vs Rusal; Turkish ferrous scrap import prices rise

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Friday December 21.

Base metal prices on the London Metal Exchange were mixed at the close of trading on Thursday December 20, with a continued retreat in the United States dollar index failing to spur upward price action amid broadly moderate volumes. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how prices looked at the close of trading:

It’s been nine months since the US announced Section 232 tariffs and more than six months since a 10% tax was applied to imports of aluminium from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. There’s been a huge debate over how successful the tariffs – imposed on the grounds of national security and also applied at a 25% rate to steel – have been.

The benchmark in-warehouse Rotterdam aluminium premium fell on December 20 to its lowest since January 2010. The drop came the day after the US Treasury announced plans to lift sanctions against Russian aluminium producer UC Rusal in January.  

Turkish ferrous scrap import prices increased on Thursday due to positive sentiment, although no new deals were heard, sources told Fastmarkets MB.

The lack of trading activity in the second half of December has continued to put pressure on Turkish long steel exporters, rebar in particular, which has forced suppliers to lower offers further.

Some domestic rebar producers in Egypt have reduced prices, while steel billet import prices have remained stable over the past week, sources said on Thursday.

Rebar producers in the United Arab Emirates have lowered their prices for January shipment, effective December 20.