ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 27/02: Lead gains ground on LME but gap widens vs zinc; ferro-silicon, ferro-chrome prices steady; seaborne iron ore prices rise

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Tuesday February 27.

Lead prices on the London Metal Exchange continued to strengthen, closing 1.4% higher at 5pm London time on Monday February 26 with its cash/three-month spread moving into backwardation. Read more in our live futures report.

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

The price difference between lead and zinc on the LME has moved to its widest point in more than 10 years, with lead lagging significantly behind.

Chinese ferro-silicon prices were unchanged on February 23, with suppliers awaiting the return of consumers after the Lunar New Year holiday, while the European and US markets paused for quarterly delivery talks to discover the state of availability and demand for the next few months.

China’s ferro-chrome market was stable just after the Lunar New Year, with market participants predicting that prices will rise in the coming week due to the country’s strengthening stainless steel sector.

Silicon prices in China and Europe were stable over the past week due to a lull in trading activity, with a number of Chinese participants yet to return to the market following the Lunar New Year break.

The seaborne iron ore market recorded higher fixed-price transactions on Monday due to a strengthening Chinese steel market, although premiums have fallen from pre-holiday levels due to an increased availability of cargoes.

Prices for Asia-origin steel commodities could remain elevated for April- and May-shipment cargoes, although this will depend on further policy changes in China and the United States, market sources told Metal Bulletin.

China’s domestic rebar prices rose sharply on February 26 following big gains in the billet and futures markets.

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