EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 15/10: Weakness eyed in US Midwest Al premium; US secondary Al alloy prices under pressure; alumina prices down on Alunorte U-turn

Good morning from Fastmarkets MB’s offices in Asia as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Monday October 15.

Most base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were little changed to weaker during Asian morning trading on Monday, with a resurgent dollar putting downward pressure on the complex. Lead was the lone metal to record any price gains.

The dollar index, at 95.33 as at 9.56am Shanghai time, is up considerably from last Thursday’s low of 94.98. Last week’s weakness in the dollar came amid a massive stock market sell-off triggered by worries over rising interest rates and the continuing trade war between China and the United States.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

Rising copper premiums should forerun years of higher prices for the metal, Atlantic Copper chief executive officer Javier Targhetta said in an interview with Fastmarkets on Tuesday October 9 during LME Week in London.

The Fastmarkets MB alumina index fob Australia dropped below $500 per tonne on Friday October 12 following the Brazilian government’s U-turn on an earlier decision, allowing the Alunorte alumina refinery to resume production at 50% capacity.

Indian local secondary billet prices fell in the second week of October by about 100 rupees per tonne while demand for semi-finished steel products remained weak and the number of buyer inquiries dwindled further, Fastmarkets has heard.

The US Midwest aluminium premium has stayed put this week, but talk among market participants suggests that softening of the premium is a distinct possibility in the near future.

Prices for the A380.1 and 319.1 secondary aluminium alloys fell in the US on Thursday October 11, after pressure from depressed scrap aluminium prices spurred some discounted offers into the spot market.