EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 04/05: SHFE zinc prices spooked by LME weakness; China suspends US non-ferrous scrap exports; copper market outlook darkens

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Singapore as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Friday May 4.

Base metal prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange diverged during Asian morning trading on Friday, with zinc prices spooked by the overnight weakness on the London Metal Exchange.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 03.48 am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne) Change since previous session’s close ($)
Copper 6,865 38
Aluminium 2,303 34
Lead 2,273.50 13.5
Zinc 3,021.50 14.5
Tin 21,240 35
Nickel 13,950 175

SHFE snapshot at 10.47 am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne) Change since previous session’s close (yuan)
Copper (Jun) 51,110 50
Aluminium (Jun) 14,565 0
Zinc (Jun) 23,295 -435
Lead (Jun) 18,500 -10
Tin  (Sep) 148,080 790
Nickel  (Jul) 103,960 -800

US non-ferrous scrap exports to China have been brought to a screeching halt on news that the Chinese government has implemented a 30-day suspension on its North America customs inspections division.

The global copper market could be in for a turbulent second half of the year due to continued uncertainty surrounding a potential trade war between the United States and China, according to INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

South Africa and New Zealand’s non-exemption from the United States’ Section 232 import tariffs is likely to have limited impact on Asian aluminium supply, and hence premiums, market participants told Metal Bulletin.

Tesla is cutting its reliance on cobalt in its electric vehicle (EV) batteries while raising nickel content in order to increase the energy density of the units.

Nyrstar’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda) for the first quarter of 2018 fell by €3 million ($3.6 billion) or 5.5% year on year to €54 million, the company said on Thursday.

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