EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 18/10: China zinc premium falls again; concerns mount over potential halt of Indonesian tin exports; US senator calls for more oversight on Al pricing

Good morning from Fastmarkets MB’s offices in Asia as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Thursday October 18.

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were broadly down during Asian morning trading on Thursday, with only zinc showing any meaningful gains while copper was little changed.

The broad-based weakness in the base metals follows a rebound in the dollar after the minutes from the US Federal Open Market Committee’s September meeting implied a further interest rate rise in December.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

London Metal Exchange, base metals prices

Shanghai Futures Exchange, base metals prices

Chinese zinc premiums fell for a second consecutive week in the week ended Tuesday October 16, with rates pressured by buyers’ low appetite for the metal due the closed import arbitrage window. Check our latest global zinc and lead wrap here.

Concerns are mounting over the potential halt in tin exports from Indonesia – the world’s second-largest producer – for weeks to come after the suspension of PT Surveyors Indonesia, one of the country’s key smelter inspectors, Fastmarkets has learned.

A United States senator has introduced bipartisan legislation in the country’s senior legislative body, the Senate, that would allow more oversight of price reporting and price-setting entities that operate in the aluminium markets.

Alcoa intends to shut down its Spanish aluminium smelting operations at La Coruña and Avilés, citing the plants as being the least productive within the Alcoa system due to structural issues.

BHP has cut its production guidance slightly for its 2019 financial year started July 1, 2018, citing reduced output led by outages at Olympic Dam in Australia and Spence in Chile, the copper producer said on Wednesday October 17.

Several zinc and lead mining and smelting companies have been targeted for secondary sanctions by the US Treasury over alleged ties to paramilitary organizations.