ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 25/05: Tin defies uptick in LME base metals prices; China impounds 16,000 tonnes of lead concentrates; LME to name companies that don’t respond to responsible sourcing by year-end

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Friday May 25.

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were broadly higher at the close of trading on Thursday May 24, with nickel leading the gains while tin bucked the trend to edge lower. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how prices looked at the close of trading:

Chinese customs agents have impounded 16,000 tonnes of lead concentrates that they allege is secondary waste material shipped into the country by Swiss miner-trader Glencore, sources with knowledge of the matter told Metal Bulletin.

The LME is expected to publish its white paper on responsible sourcing of metal around the start of July and plans to publicly name companies that do not formally respond to a producer survey on standards by year-end, the exchange’s chief executive officer told Metal Bulletin.

The sanctions levied against Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and affecting Russian aluminium producer UC Rusal have led to a price squeeze for US extruders – fulfilling the expectations of American Metal Market readers.

US Rusal has warned shareholders that the US Treasury Department’s sanctions against the company could hamper its cash flow and ability to obtain financing, the company said on Thursday. A separate statement on the same day announced the resignation of the company’s chief executive officer and seven directors.

A freezing order on copper-cobalt assets held by Katanga Mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo thus far has had no material effect on the Glencore subsidiary’s operations, the company said last week.

Novelis Inc has said it will double its automotive aluminium body sheet capacity at its Changzhou facility in China. The investment will cost about $180 million and will add around 100,000 tonnes of capacity through a new continuous annealing solution heat-treatment line.

The Indian government has launched a disputes proceeding at the World Trade Organization, protesting the United States’ imposition of 25% duties against imports of India-made steel and 10% duties on aluminium products from the country.

Stainless steel prices in East Asia fell slightly over the past week amid persistently low buying interest, although a few mills were still reluctant to lower their offers due to a spike in the nickel market.

The premium differential between Jinchuan nickel full plate and Russian Nornickel full plate on the Wuxi Stainless Steel Exchange in China has narrowed sharply due to reduced supply of the latter as a result of the closed import window.

In ferrous news, the European Commission has begun an anti-dumping investigation into imports of hot-rolled sheet piles from China, it said on May 24.

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