EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 16/04: SHFE base metals prices under pressure; MJP aluminium premium jumps 11%; aluminium prices to remain high, volatile

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Shanghai as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Monday April 16.

An escalation in geopolitical tensions over the weekend dampened sentiment during Asian morning trading on Monday with the base metals traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange broadly down.

Aluminium showed the most resilience during the early session in Asia, with participants continuing to focus on the United States’ sanctions on aluminium producer UC Rusal and how the potential loss of supply from the Russian company might affect the global market.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 03.23am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne) Change since previous session’s close ($)
Copper 6,820 -10
Aluminium 2,287 1.5
Lead 2,319 16
Zinc 3,095 -22
Tin 20,980 -70
Nickel 13,920 -20

SHFE snapshot at 11.23am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne) Change since previous session’s close (yuan)
Copper (June) 50,380 -140
Aluminium (June) 14,575 -5
Zinc (June) 23,480 -35
Lead (June) 17,995 -165
Tin  (May) 142,920 -210
Nickel (July) 103,700 -60

The spot cif main Japanese ports (MJP) aluminum premium jumped around 11% at the end of last week after market participants raised offers and price indications due to supply concerns stemming from the sanctions placed on Rusal.

High and volatile aluminium prices are likely to persist in the near term on uncertainty caused by the US Treasury Department’s sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and aluminium producer Rusal, investment bank Goldman Sachs said in a report on April 12.

Canadian miner Trevali more than tripled its payable zinc production in the first quarter of this year versus the same 2017 period, in line with other miners that have moved to boost production in response to higher metal prices on the London Metal Exchange.

Aluminium scrap markets in the US continued to see mixed movements, with gains in the primary market lifting mill-grade scrap prices while secondary aluminium scrap prices remained generally steady.

Cobalt metal prices consolidated their recent gains last week, supported by a steady run of smaller inquiries, albeit at a slower pace than in recent weeks.

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