ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 30/11: Hydro still uncertain on Alunorte; Xinfa aluminium smelters exempted from China’s winter curtailments; Aurubis to resume production at two copper smelters

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Friday November 30.

Base metal prices on the London Metal Exchange registered some gains on Thursday November 29 following a rise in crude oil futures but market sentiment remained uncertain, with commodities facing macroeconomic headwinds. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how prices looked at the close of trading:

Norsk Hydro said that the time frame remains uncertain for a return to 100% capacity operations at the Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil.

Xinfa Group’s two aluminium smelters in the Chinese province of Shandong have been exempted from this year’s winter production curtailments, according to a document seen by Fastmarkets MB.

Aurubis has resumed production at its Hamburg, Germany, and Pirdop, Bulgaria, primary copper smelting plants after both were suspended for unscheduled boiler maintenance earlier this week, the company said.

European buyers of hot-dipped galvanized coil said they have been watching the market in expectation of a price reduction due to poor market sentiment.

The economic sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran since early August have had direct and indirect negative effects on the Middle Eastern country’s steel exports as well as its domestic consumption, local sources said.

Rumors have strengthened that discounts are being offered on flat steel prices in Brazil, with imported material having lost value and competition in the country intensifying.

What to read next
Read more from senior analyst Andy Farida on how the price action in LME nickel has played out in the first half of 2024
Tight aluminium scrap availability, the increase in container costs, sluggish demand in the US and the US market’s current indifference to rising premiums in Europe and Asia were the top subjects discussed during the Harbor Aluminum Summit that took place in Chicago on June 4-6
Germany-based copper recycling and non-ferrous metal provider Aurubis has started commissioning their secondary smelter in Augusta, Georgia, and could eventually introduce black mass recycling to the facility
Base metals on the London Metal Exchange were mixed in morning trading on Monday June 10, with three-month prices lacking direction amid thin traded volumes due a public holiday in China, the largest market for base metals
Copper concentrate treatment and refining charges have repeatedly fallen to record-low levels over the first five months of 2024
The publication of Fastmarkets’ assessments for the nickel briquette premium, delivered Midwest US and the nickel 4x4 cathode premium, delivered Midwest US for June 4 were delayed because of incorrect methodology application.