EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 20/08: SHFE base metals drift upward; US ali premium flat ahead of annual talks; China zinc output drops 5-year low

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

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were up across the board during morning trading on Monday, with the complex finding support from an apparent easing in trade tensions between China and the United States.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

The US Midwest aluminium premium did not move last week, with buyers said to be turning their attention to 2019 supply contract negotiations.

China’s monthly zinc output dropped to its lowest in five years in July, echoing lower output of galvanized steel and capacity cut of major Chinese zinc smelters.

The London Metal Exchange zinc price has moved into contango for the first time in more than two months, with analysts highlighting improved supply as a key factor.

Vietnam’s Masan Resources has moved a step closer to realizing its aim of becoming the world’s largest producer and supplier of tungsten chemicals by acquiring the stake in its local tungsten chemical processor joint venture it did not already own.

Secondary aluminium alloy prices in the US maintained their steady positions, with contract-focused alloy producers unwilling to discount spot offers amid tightened production capacity.

The low-grade cobalt benchmark stabilized at premium to the high-grade last week, while battery-grade lithium carbonate prices continued their downtrend. Click here to view Metal Bulletin’s weekly battery materials price report.