EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 03/04: China imposes tariffs on US aluminium scrap; alumina prices soar in March; Chinese FeSi prices decline further

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Singapore as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Tuesday April 3.

Base metals traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange took divergent paths during Asian morning trading on Tuesday, with copper consolidating after its push higher over the past week.

The most-traded copper contract on the SHFE was at 50,550 yuan ($8,048) per tonne as of 10.53am Shanghai time, up by 160 yuan per tonne from Monday’s closing price. Around 145,000 lots of the contract have traded so far.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 03.53am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne) Change since previous session’s close ($)
Copper 6,824 110
Aluminium 2,038 33.5
Lead 2,398 3
Zinc 3,290 16
Tin 21,300 200
Nickel 13,575 275

SHFE snapshot at 10.53am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne) Change since previous session’s close (yuan)
Copper (May) 50,550 160
Aluminium (May) 14,080 90
Zinc (May) 24,960 -10
Lead (May) 18,730 -165
Tin  (May) 145,460 -640
Nickel  (July) 100,230 150

As trade wars heat up, China has dealt the US aluminium scrap industry a serious blow and created mayhem by officially slapping a blanket 25% tariff on recycled aluminium from the United States, effective Monday April 2.

Spot alumina prices soared 27.8% over the course of March, with buyers forced to pay up for units while Hydro’s Alunorte refinery operates at 50% of its capacity.

In ferro-alloys, Chinese ferro-silicon prices continued their downward trend over the past week, pressured by ample stocks and a negative outlook for the market due to weakness in the country’s steel sector.

Meanwhile, import prices for rebar and wire rod in Southeast Asia slumped further over the past week amid bearish sentiment among buyers, subdued trading activity and fluctuations in China’s steel futures market.