EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 18/06: Q3 FeCr benchmark likely to be smaller than expected; US Ali scrap prices fall; MJP Ali stocks rise 6.4% in May

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Asia as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Monday June 18.

Three-month base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were broadly down during Asian morning trading on Monday, with a stronger dollar weighing on the complex.

The dollar index rose considerably last Friday, surpassing its previous 2018 high with a jump to 95.14 – its highest reading since early November last year. It has since retreated but remains in high ground at 94.86 as at 4.16am London time, compared with a reading of 93.55 at roughly the same time on June 14.

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The widely-anticipated third-quarter European ferro-chrome benchmark price reduction is likely to be smaller than early estimates, market sources say, amid rising spot prices in China and Europe.

Some mill-grade aluminium scrap prices in the United States are being weighed down by softness in the terminal markets and mixed demand, while smelter-grade material is steady.

The US Midwest aluminium premium inched up last Friday, with market participants noting that prices in the spot market are not dropping to incentivize buying despite a backwardation on the LME.

Primary aluminium stocks at the three main Japanese ports (MJP) of Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka rose another 6.4% month on month in May to 284,200 tonnes, according to Marubeni Corp data. 

Common themes throughout the US economy are high and rising transportation and logistics costs. Those problems have been acute for the copper industry, leading to ever-rising premiums and questions on when the issue will be mitigated.