EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 12/03: Nickel leads SHFE base metals higher; US non-ferrous scrap exports decline in Jan; US Ali market on edge after tariff

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Shanghai as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Monday March 12.

Base metals traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were up across the board during Asian morning trading on Monday, with nickel leading the pack higher.

The most-traded July nickel contract on the SHFE stood at 104,530 yuan ($16,508) per tonne as of 02.48am London time, up by 3.7% or 3,710 yuan per tonne compared with last Friday’s close.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.40am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
Price ($ per tonne) Change since Friday’s close ($)
Copper 6,933 -29
Aluminium 2,109.5 -10.5
Lead 2,379.5 3.5
Zinc 3,263 -14
Tin 21,355 -45
Nickel 13,725 -135

SHFE snapshot at 10.48am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
Price (yuan per tonne) Change since Friday’s close (yuan)
Copper 52090 900
Aluminium 14085 10
Lead 18530 55
Zinc 25010 395
Tin 147160 700
Nickel 104,530 3,710


A long-awaited decline in the United States’ non-ferrous scrap shipments to China (including Hong Kong) has finally been registered, with aluminium and copper scrap deliveries to the country plummeting to a nine-year low in January.

The US aluminium market is recoiling following President Donald Trump’s official enactment of tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, with regional premiums rising as market participants plead with the government to temper the blanket measures’ severity.

Magnitude 7 Metals has announced plans to “restart two potlines of operation at its three-potline, 263,000-tonne-per-year aluminium smelter” in the US state of Missouri, in response to Trump signing the 10% tariff on aluminium imports into law on March 8.

Magnesium prices in China declined over the past week due to a softening in ferro-silicon prices.

And finally, high demand in the Chinese domestic market has pushed up prices for molybdenum concentrate.

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