EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 02/03: SHFE copper, aluminium prices edge up; potential strike at Cajamarquilla zinc smelter; Jamaican bauxite gaining value-in-use recognition

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Singapore as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Friday March 2.

Base metals traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange remained weak during Asian morning trading on Friday, with only aluminium and copper prices showing some resilience - the former finding support from news that US President Donald Trump will enact a 10% tariff on aluminium imports into the United States as a result of the Section 232 investigation.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.01am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
Price ($ per tonne) Change since yesterday’s close ($)
Copper 6,939 17
Aluminium 2,143.50 -3.5
Lead 2,462 17
Zinc 3,407 -10
Tin 21,550 -105
Nickel 13,410 -50

SHFE snapshot at 10.00am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
Price (yuan per tonne) Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper 52,550 80
Aluminium 14,430 40
Zinc 26,195 -235
Lead 18,865 -225
Tin 147,130 -200
Nickel 102,280 -2,500

Union workers at Nexa Resources’ Cajamarquilla zinc smelter in Peru are calling an indefinite strike from Monday March 5 for a better share of profits and improved working conditions.

Third-party customers have started to recognize the value-in-use advantages that come from the bauxite produced at St Ann in Jamaica, according to David D’Addario, chief executive officer (CEO) of Noranda Bauxite and Alumina.

Industrial electricity rates in the US rose through 2017, which could prove to be a major factor in the viability of restarting domestic primary aluminium capacity in the coming months and years.

Copper and brass scrap markets are holding firm in the US amid mixed domestic demand while stiff competition overseas, freight challenges and a dip in Comex is keeping some pressure on prices.

The global alumina supply picture would likely look very different were it not for the introduction and adoption of alumina indices published by price reporting agencies, according to Mark Roggensinger, senior market analyst at Hydro.

Brazil will look for ways to avoid being included in any measures related to the US Section 232 investigation into steel and aluminum imports.

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