EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 09/03: Trump signs steel, aluminium tariffs into law; volatility growing in US Midwest Ali premium; lawsuit targets Kobe data tampering

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Singapore as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Friday March 9.

Base metals traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were broadly weaker during Asian morning trading on Friday, with only aluminium and tin prices moving higher, after US President Donald Trump signed off on his much-anticipated tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the United States.

The base metals have generally struggled this morning with the market mulling over the implications of Trump signing his proposed import tariffs into law and what sort of retaliatory actions may come as a result. A firmer dollar also added to the gloomy mood in the market.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.00am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices

Price ($/t) Change since yesterday’s close ($)
Copper 6,835 2
Aluminium 2,109.5 3.5
Lead 2,353.5 16.5
Zinc 3,221 -9
Tin 21,450 -95
Nickel 13,200 -70

SHFE snapshot at 10.00am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts

Price (yuan per tonne) Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper (May) 51,690 -330
Aluminium (May) 14,275 45
Zinc (May) 24,900 -200
Lead (April) 18,480 -100
Tin (May) 147,120 1,510
Nickel (July) 100,810 -440


Trump has signed off on previously announced tariffs on steel and aluminium imports into the United States, officially implementing them as trade policy.

The US Midwest aluminium premium has seen a growth in volatility over the past couple of years, which only stands to increase in the coming months and years.

Kobe Steel and Kobe Aluminum, as well as metal buyer Toyota Motor Corp, are facing a class action lawsuit alleging that consumers had been defrauded into buying vehicles made of substandard metal.

Strong overseas demand is putting the heat on domestic copper and brass scrap markets in the US, with some consumers hiking up prices in an effort to keep metal inland.

The US will impose import tariffs on steel and aluminium, and with depressing inevitability other nations and trading blocs will cry “foul” and reach for the drawer marked “retaliation”, almost certainly leading to a wider and broader trade war.

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