EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 08/03: SHFE base metals lower, bar nickel; Antam targets two-fold increase in nickel ore output; PPS floats tenders for aluminium, zinc

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Singapore as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Thursday March 8.

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly lower during Asian morning trading on Thursday, influenced by the weak performance of prices on the London Metal Exchange overnight.

Only nickel prices managed to post any gains, supported by the bullishness surrounding the metal’s prospects in the electric vehicle sector.

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 6,942.5 -7.5
Aluminium 2,102 5
Lead 2,394.5 19.5
Zinc 3,280 20
Tin 21,390 15
Nickel 13,510 -80

SHFE snapshot at 10.00am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper (May) 52,330 -150
Aluminium (May) 14,195 -65
Zinc (May) 25,255 -45
Lead (April) 18,545 -170
Tin (May) 146,320 -260
Nickel (July) 102,800 260

PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) is targeting a two-fold increase in its nickel ore production to 11.25 million wet metric tonnes in 2018, the Indonesian state-owned miner said on Wednesday.

South Korea’s Public Procurement Service (PPS) has floated three tenders to procure a total of 1,000 tonnes of aluminium and 1,000 tonnes of zinc, according to notices from the state agency on Wednesday.

CME Group is benefiting from a spike in volatility, with monthly average daily volumes reaching an all-time high of 27.3 million contracts in February.

Mill-grade prices for aluminium so far have been much slower to react than the US Midwest premium to news that President Donald Trump could levy a blanket 10% tariff on US aluminium imports.

The restriction on imports of some copper scrap products to China has already caused the industry to make some process changes but many questions are still unanswered, a panel of scrap experts said at the Metal Bulletin Copper conference.

Nickel premiums in Europe crept higher on Tuesday on tight availability and declining London Metal Exchange nickel stocks, while Asian nickel premiums were stable due to the sustained negative arbitrage in China and amid slow trading activity.

Fears about a looming aluminium duty from the United States’ Section 232 investigations have dashed hopes of the market taking advantage of a widening import aluminium arbitrage between Asia and the US.

Around 2.5 million tonnes of copper output is exposed to high disruption risks this year in Chile, the country’s copper commission said at Metal Bulletin’s International Copper conference in Madrid on Wednesday.

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