EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 13/02: SHFE nickel prices lead on the upside; primary aluminium supply to tighten in ’18; Sherritt ramping up Ambatovy

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Shanghai as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Tuesday February 13.

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were broadly stronger during Asian morning trading on Tuesday, with nickel prices leading on the upside with a gain of 0.8%, while lead (-0.3%) was the only metal to lose ground.

The May nickel contract on the SHFE stood at 100,620 yuan ($15,922) per tonne as of 10.00 am Shanghai time, up by 800 yuan from the previous day’s close of 99,820 yuan per tonne.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

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

Price ($ per tonne) Change since yesterday’s close ($)
Copper 6,888 57
Aluminium 2,146 21
Lead 2,513.5 -2.5
Zinc 3,399 16.5
Tin 21,190 95
Nickel 13,195 95

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

Price (yuan per tonne) Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper (April) 51,870 160
Aluminium (March) 14,470 65
Zinc (April) 26,005 65
Lead (March) 18,965 -65
Tin (May) 147,290 950
Nickel (May) 100,620 800

Primary aluminium supply is expected to be in tight supply this year due to a split in the market between China and the rest of the world, according to a forecast by ING Groep NV.

Sherritt International Corp is ramping up nickel and cobalt output at its Ambatovy joint venture in Madagascar, which was impacted by Tropical Cyclone Ava in January.

Miners are once again likely to secure a reduction in zinc treatment charges (TCs) for 2018, although perhaps not by as much as their initial offers to smelters would suggest.

Ford Motor Co is investing $25 million in its assembly plant in the US state of Kentucky to meet surging customer demand for its aluminium-intensive sport utility vehicle models, according to a statement on Monday February 12.

The price differential between high and low-grade cobalt narrowed last week, reflecting strong demand for units with chemical applications and a pronounced tightness for broken cathodes and briquettes.

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