EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 26/03: US Ali scrap market wary of China’s tariff talk; US Midwest Ali premium starts to correct; PPS floats four tenders

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s offices in Shanghai as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Monday March 26.

Base metals prices, with the exception of tin, on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were all lower during Asian morning trading on Monday after the escalating trade tensions between China and the United States weighed on the demand outlook for commodities.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 03.18am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
Price ($ per tonne) Change since yesterday’s close ($)
Copper 6,593.50 -66.5
Aluminium 2,054.50 4
Lead 2,349 8
Zinc 3,202 -15
Tin 20,750 -25
Nickel 12,935 -15

SHFE snapshot at 10.19am London time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
Price (yuan per tonne) Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper 49,310 -800
Aluminium 13,700 -65
Zinc 24,570 -100
Lead 18,415 -20
Tin 141,870 390
Nickel 97,290 -1,230


China’s announcement that imports of US aluminium scrap could be hit with a 25% tariff has sent a shockwave through the industry, with exporters deeply concerned over the impact that the retaliatory measure could have on trade.

The US Midwest aluminium premium has moved down, with the correction previously hinted at starting to manifest in the market.

Concerns over possible tightening of supply due to limited stocks at magnesium refineries buoyed Chinese magnesium prices.

South Korea’s Public Procurement Service has floated four tenders to procure 4,000 tonnes of aluminium and 500 tonnes each of zinc and copper, according to notices from the state agency on March 23.

The European second-quarter ferro-chrome benchmark is likely to rise around 14% in comparison to the first-quarter settlement, according to the average predictions made by market participants polled by Metal Bulletin.

European spot prices for molybdic oxide and ferro-molybdenum have extended their downward trend in the past week, with profit-taking reported after a market rally that has lasted for much of the year-to-date.

The US International Trade Commission has voted that silicon metal imports from Australia, Brazil, Norway and Kazakhstan do not materially harm the US silicon industry.

Indium prices weakened in the week ended March 23, as did manganese and magnesium prices. Click here to view Metal Bulletin’s full minor metals market report.

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