EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 01/02: SHFE nickel prices weaken further; high US stocks weigh on copper market; China ADC 12 export price hits fresh high

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Shanghai, as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Thursday February 1.

Nickel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were weaker during Asian morning trading on Thursday, with underwhelming data releases from China as well as soft demand from the country’s stainless steel sector weighing on the metal’s prices.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.49 am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
Price ($ per tonne) Change since yesterday’s close ($)
Copper 7,117 -1
Aluminium 2,214.5 -5
Lead 2,633 21
Zinc 3,524.5 -15.5
Tin 21,700 20
Nickel 13,510 -90

SHFE snapshot at 10.56 am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
Price (yuan per t) Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper 53,100 -120
Aluminium 14,365 -75
Lead 19,485 85
Zinc 26,715 -65
Tin 149,350 -800
Nickel 102,350 -270

The copper industry continues to contend with a US market that is saturated with metal and ever-rising warehousing stocks, even in the face of a roaring economy, prices maintaining last year’s gains and premiums starting to show some vigor.

Export aluminium ingot ADC 12 prices in China continued to rise this past week, with concerns of supply tightness and higher costs in the raw materials market causing producers to raise their offers.

US President Donald Trump did not make mention of current steel and aluminium trade cases during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, leaving the trade remedies he plans to impose - if any - a mystery to industry participants.

GFG Alliance has been granted full planning permission for a new 400-worker alloy wheel factory next to the Liberty British Aluminium smelter at Fort William, Scotland, the company said.

Mass market electric-vehicle production will ultimately focus on shorter-range batteries, allowing automakers to manage their exposure to cobalt prices, according to Masato Origuchi, electrical storage system expert at Renault.

Commodities fund Tiberius is seeking to underpin a new world of digital currency transactions with a bullish future for industrial and precious metals, by launching a physical metals-backed cryptocurrency called Tiberius Coin.

Prices for spent lead-acid batteries and lead scrap in the United States have been boosted by a combination of steep gains on the London Metal Exchange, rising transportation costs and firm overseas demand.

Tharisa plans to build two new plants and upgrade another, part of its aim to lift production to 2 million tonnes per year of chrome concentrate by 2020, the South African miner said on Wednesday.

Cost pressure from high prices for graphite electrodes and ferro-silicon will continue to send pressure on the stainless steel industry in 2018, according to Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu.

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