ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 27/12: LME trading set to resume; GEM in battery materials supply deal with Ecopro; major Chinese stainless mills lower ferro-chrome tenders

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Thursday December 27.

The London Metal Exchange will reopen Thursday following a two-day break in trading – for Christmas and the annual Boxing Day holiday.

Here is how prices looked at the most-recent close of trading, on December 24:

Chinese battery materials producer GEM has signed a memorandum with South Korea’s Ecopro to supply the latter with 170,000 tonnes of nickel-rich nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) precursor materials in the next five years, according to an announcement on Sunday December 23. 

China’s leading stainless steel mills – Tsingshan Group, Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Tisco) and Baosteel – have lowered their January tender prices for high-carbon ferro-chrome, pressured by declining stainless steel prices and relatively high steel stocks at plants.

The average price for domestically produced hot-rolled coil in the United States for 2019 could be below $35 per hundredweight ($700 per short ton), according to a forecast by KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Finally, ferrous scrap prices were unchanged in the Mexican steelmaking regions of Bajio and Monterrey during the week ended December 21, with buying largely concluded ahead of Christmas, according to market participants.