EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 05/03: Weak start for SHFE base metals; Chinese bauxite imports could double in 10 years; Hydro declares force majeure at Alunorte

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Singapore as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Monday March 5.

Base metals traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were broadly weaker during Asian morning trading on Monday, with only nickel and tin prices managing to post slight gains.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

SHFE snapshot at 10.02am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since Friday’s close (yuan)
Copper (April) 52,140 -180
Aluminium(May) 14,330 -95
Zinc(April) 25,970 -290
Lead(April) 18,830 -65
Tin (May) 147,610 230
Nickel (May) 102,250 70

LME snapshot at 02.02am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
Price ($ per tonne)  Change since Friday’s close ($)
Copper 6,930 32
Aluminium 2,143.5 -5.5
Lead 2,461 13
Zinc 3,381 26
Tin 21,590 115
Nickel 13,440 -10

China’s bauxite imports could increase to 130-150 million tonnes per year within the next ten years, as it seeks to fill a domestic supply gap, according to Mark Roggensinger, senior market analyst at Hydro.

Hydro has declared force majeure at its Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil’s northern state of Pará following an order by the country’s authorities to cut output by 50%.

The Atlantic alumina market will swing back to a premium over the Pacific as a result of a 50% cut to output, and subsequent force majeure announcement, from Hydro’s Alunorte refinery in Brazil, according to market participants spoken to by Metal Bulletin.

Downstream market participants in both steel and aluminium were in a state of alarm following US President Donald Trump’s confirmation that he intends to levy tariffs on imports of both metals into the United States.

Brazil’s aluminium industry is concerned about a potential surge of Chinese sheet and foil shipments into the country following Trump’s decision.

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