EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 20/07: SHFE copper down 0.8%; China EV policy hastens shift to nickel-rich batteries; US Ali premium model to change – Alcoa

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Asia as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Friday July 20.

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were under pressure during Asian morning trading on Friday, with the majority of the complex little changed to weaker. Tin was the exception, however, with a modest gain of 0.4%.

Copper led the on the downside with its most-traded September contract on the SHFE falling to 48,250 yuan ($7,133) per tonne as at 9.38am Shanghai time, down by 0.8% or 420 yuan per tonne from Thursday’s closing price.

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Changes to the Chinese government’s electric vehicle (EV) subsidy policy have necessitated investment in nickel-rich battery chemistries, as companies battle to avoid being left behind, according to Aaron Cao, president of Shanghai Greatpower. 

Aluminium premiums in the United States will likely embrace the duty-paid versus duty-unpaid (DDP/DUP) system as a result of the tariffs levied by the US government against imported materials, according to Alcoa Corp’s top executive.

Zinc inventory in SHFE-approved warehouses plunged to a 10-year low after buyers took advantage of price declines and while supply remains restricted by local production cuts.

Nucor’s 2.5 million-tonne-per-year direct reduced iron plant in Louisiana, United States, is set to start up again on July 20 following a month-long planned maintenance outage, the company’s top executive said on a July 19 earnings call.