EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 06/03: Jump in stocks sink SHFE zinc prices; Q2 MJP deal done at $129/t premium; Cajamarquilla zinc smelter workers begin indefinite strike

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Singapore as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Tuesday March 6.

Base metals traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were split into two camps during Asian morning trading on Tuesday, with zinc, lead and tin prices weakening, while the rest pushed higher.

Zinc prices led the decline on the back of the weakness seen on the London Metal Exchange on Monday, following a surge of the material entering LME warehouses in the US port of New Orleans.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.00am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
Price ($ per tonne)  Change since yesterday’s close ($)
Copper 6,937.5 27.5
Aluminium 2,144.5 -1
Lead 2,411.5 -13.5
Zinc 3,297 1
Tin / /
Nickel 13,465 35

SHFE snapshot at 10.00am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper (May) 52,410 290
Aluminium(May) 14,360 65
Zinc(May) 25,325 -325
Lead(April) 18,540 -210
Tin (May) 147,100 -310
Nickel (May) 102,340 900

The first deal for aluminium supply to main Japanese ports (MJP) in the second quarter of 2018 was concluded at a premium of $129 per tonne on Monday, up 25% from the previous quarter’s settlement.

Union workers at Nexa Resources’ Cajamarquilla zinc smelter began an indefinite strike on Monday to demand a wage increase and better benefits, the company and the Strazinc union both confirmed.

The aluminium billet premium in the United States remain unchanged this week, with the market static until President Donald Trump makes tariffs on aluminium imports into the country official.

President Donald Trump signaled to Canada and Mexico that he would use his planned imposition of import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium as a bargaining chip to wring concessions in the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation.

European aluminium premiums have dipped below $100 per tonne in recent days due to a prolonged tightness in LME spreads, but could rebound now that the market is back in contango.

The largest zinc delivery in nearly five years has swung zinc’s LME cash/three-month spread into contango for the first time in 2018.

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