EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 11/04: Rusal sanction boosts US Ali premium; US Ali scrap markets in state of flux; Vedanta’s application to restart Tuticorin smelter rejected

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Shanghai as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Wednesday April 11.

Copper prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged up during Asian morning trading on Wednesday, with the red metal continuing to benefit from an easing in global trade tensions.

But the release of disappointing Chinese data earlier this morning has dampened sentiment slightly, putting a cap on copper’s gains and pushing some of the other metals downward.

China’s consumer prices were up just 2.1% year on year last month, beneath both expected and previous readings of 2.6% and 2.9% respectively, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Meanwhile, China’s producer prices in March were also shy of forecasts, gaining an annual 3.1% against expected growth of 3.2% and a previous increase of 3.7% in February.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 03.19am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($/t)  Change since yesterday’s close ($)
Copper 6,929 -16
Aluminium 2,205 4
Lead 2,391 -1
Zinc 3,243 0
Tin 21,015 140
Nickel 13,660 -35

SHFE snapshot at 11.10am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper  51,340 170
Aluminium 14,325 -25
Zinc 24,515 15
Lead 18,485 -5
Tin  144,330 -320
Nickel  101,540 610

Vedanta Resources’ planned restart of its Tuticorin copper smelter in Tamil Nadu, India, will be delayed after its application to do so was rejected by state environmental officials.

The US Midwest aluminium premium surged by 20% after the United States Treasury imposed sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and aluminium producer UC Rusal. The Asian and European markets remained mostly firm while market participants assessed the effects of the sanctions on the physical markets.

A wave of volatility has swept through aluminium scrap markets in the US due to drastic trade policy changes, with mill-grade and smelter-grade prices moving in opposite directions.

Silicon metal prices in the US ticked down in April following the US International Trade Commission’s vote against anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports from key suppliers.

Steelmakers in the US exercised discipline in February and reduced imports of higher-priced raw materials despite improving domestic melting rates.