EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 16/05: Force of new technology pushing LME volumes higher; Japanese, European Ali premiums weaken; Uncertainty clouds US non-ferrous scrap export market

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Asia as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Wednesday May 15.

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange diverged during Asian morning trading on Wednesday, with rising stocks and a surge in the dollar sinking copper.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

SHFE snapshot at 11.01am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne) Change since previous session’s close (yuan)
Copper (Jul) 50,990 -220
Aluminium (Jul) 14,765 45
Zinc (Jul) 23,840 60
Lead (Jun) 19,340 -150
Tin  (Sep) 145,950 -340
Nickel  (Jul) 107,500 350


LME snapshot at 04.01am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne) Change since previous session’s close ($)
Copper 6,822 14
Aluminium 2,327 0
Lead 2,354 6
Zinc 3,079 17
Tin N/A N/A
Nickel 14,465 40

The increased acceptance by humans that they cannot battle against the rise of technology and algorithmic trading has brought numerous changes to the type of trades taking place on London Metal Exchange, according to Marex Spectron’s head of market analytics Guy Wolf.

Aluminium premiums in Japan and Europe fell over the past week, with supply concerns relating to the sanctions placed on Russian aluminium producer UC Rusal continuing to ease. In the United States, limited spot activity kept the Midwest-delivered premium flat.

The US’ non-ferrous scrap exports rose further in March but a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the industry due to lagging shipments of aluminium and copper scrap to China so far this year and concerns of future trade with the nation.

Steelmakers in the US increased their purchases of foreign raw materials during March in order to supplement their melting needs due to a combination of further anticipated price increases for domestic ferrous scrap and strong order books for finished products.

Russia’s Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works has sped up the implementation of major upstream investment projects included in its Strategy-2025 plan, the company’s director for economics said last week.

Earnings at Brazilian steel and iron ore producer CSN dropped by 7% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018 because of a fall in international iron ore prices over the same period.

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