IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 5 key stories from April 30

Here are five Fastmarkets MB stories you might have missed on Tuesday April 30 that are worth another look.

With LME Asia Week fast approaching, Fastmarkets MB took an in-depth look at one of the topics likely to dominate discussions at this year’s event: What is keeping aluminium prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange elevated following the cut to China’s value-added tax early in April?

Brazil’s primary aluminium production totaled 147,000 tonnes in the first quarter of 2019, falling by 24.7% compared with 195,100 tonnes in the first quarter of 2018, according to the country’s association for the sector, Abal.

Prices for hot-rolled coil in China may not have room to move much higher because a further 31.05 million tonnes per year of capacity will come on stream in 2019, market sources in the country told Fastmarkets this week.

The premium paid for European nickel briquettes fell to its lowest level since July 2017 on April 30, amid extremely weakened demand from the stainless steel sector for the material, while European off-warrant supply remains healthy and facilitates the decline.

Russian aluminium producer UC Rusal’s sales of aluminium value-added products were down 22.2% year on year in the first quarter of 2019 amid US sanctions and high premiums, it announced on April 30.

What to read next
Any bolstering effect on US ferrous scrap exports from the up-month in February’s domestic trade will be tempered in the immediate aftermath of two earthquakes in Turkey — the country’s largest importing region — on Monday, February 6
Steel trading and production have come to a halt in the eastern Turkish region of Iskenderun following a devastating earthquake that hit the region on Monday February 6 and put mills in the area under force majeure, sources told Fastmarkets on Tuesday
A 120-day closure of four Illinois dams scheduled for 2023 will disrupt barge shipments and have potentially both negative and positive impacts on scrap and finished steel products from Canada to Texas
Market participants are cautiously optimistic about a rebound in iron ore concentrate premiums, with steelmakers around the world set to ramp-up production in line with an anticipated increase in demand for steel products, Fastmarkets understands
General Motors (GM) is investing $650 million to develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada, the largest known source of lithium in the US and the third largest in the world
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