EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEF 30/01: SHFE base metals prices correct; zinc miners try to halve annual concentrate TCs; European alloy steel surcharges rise sharply

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s office in Shanghai, as we bring you the latest news and pricing stories on Tuesday January 30.

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were all weaker during Asian morning trading on Tuesday, with a correction underway across the complex following a strong performance in the previous session.

Check Metal Bulletin’s live futures report here.

LME snapshot at 02.04 am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
Price ($ per tonne)  Change since yesterday’s close ($)
Copper 7,118 33
Aluminium 2,232.5 7.5
Lead 2,620 18
Zinc 3,553.5 3.5
Tin 21,870 -55
Nickel 13,895 90

SHFE snapshot at 10.04 am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
Price (yuan per tonne)  Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper (March) 53,500 -100
Aluminium(March) 14,590 -80
Zinc(March) 26,980 -75
Lead(March) 19,650 -150
Tin (May) 150,820 -130
Nickel (May) 105,810 -110

Zinc miners hope to halve the annual concentrate treatment charges (TCs) in initial offer prices to smelters this year, while the market prepares for what could be one of the most vibrantly contested negotiations for years.

European alloy surcharges for January deliveries of grade-316 cold-rolled stainless steel sheet have risen sharply month on month amid higher nickel and molybdenum costs.

Metal Bulletin has updated its list of key contract negotiations at the world’s leading copper mines this year. Click here to view the status of such talks as of Monday.

Codelco has reached an early wage deal with unionized workers at its Andina division, the Chilean copper producer said on January 27.

The commodities market is a fickle beast, and few know that better than Giulio Bonifacio, chief executive officer and president of Nevada Copper, which has given its Pumpkin Hollow project the green light.

There is more to excite the metals industry than the batteries boom, with the global economy’s gradual emergence from the 2008 recession boding well for metal demand, according to Lord Copper.

Tight supplies and trader buying continued to push spot cobalt prices higher in the week ended Friday January 26, but currency moves deterred large spot purchases of cobalt in the second half of last week. 

Chinese ferro-silicon prices have been steady in the past week, stabilizing losses made through the month when idled production was restarted; meanwhile, the European price set another record high, and US prices climbed after a period of inactivity due to strong overseas prices. Check the latest global ferro-silicon wrap here.

Major Chinese stainless steel mill Tsingshan Group has raised its high-carbon ferro-chrome tender price for February delivery due to tight supplies both domestically and overseas on Monday after Baosteel and Taiyuan Iron & Steel raised ferro-chrome tender prices for February last week.

What to read next
Saudi Arabia, through its spearheading of a mining and minerals production and consumption push in the Middle East, a region usually associated with oil and gas, is leading neighboring countries to increase their presence in the base metals markets
Indonesia is preparing to invest more in its aluminium supply chain as part of its wider critical metals strategy, Fastmarkets understands
Market sentiment remain mixed on whether the investigation will impact aluminium prices and production
Aluminium premiums in all key regions remained well-supported in the week to Tuesday June 18, amid ongoing reports of tight availability, while market participants in Europe and Asia are focusing on ongoing negotiations for Japanese third-quarter supplies
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) ambitious plan to diversify away from oil and into metals will increase local nickel consumption and fund international mining projects, given recent massive investments in nickel-intense industries
Fastmarkets proposes to amend the name of the MB-AL-0231 Aluminium P1020A all-in price, delivered Midwest US, US cents/lb to clarify that the price is based on the London Metal Exchange cash aluminium price.