IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 5 key stories from April 7

Here are five Fastmarkets stories you might have missed on Tuesday April 7 that are worth another look.

The second quarter of 2020 will be one of volume survival due to massive capacity cuts in scrap, billet and long steel products globally amid Easter and Ramadan holiday periods and during efforts to contain the coronavirus, the International Rebar Producers & Exporters Association (Irepas) said on Friday April 3.

Hong Kong trading house Noble Group Holdings will close its base metals and rare earths trading desks as part of widespread board-mandated staffing cuts, informed sources told Fastmarkets.

Glencore-owned Mopani Copper Mines is to transition its operations to care-and-maintenance status from Wednesday April 8, but will continue to process on-site material at the associated Zambian smelter and refinery until further notice.

The Chinese high-carbon ferro-chrome market continued to rise in the week to April 3 after smelters reduced their supply in the spot market, despite the weak stainless steel sector.

Striking the right balance between supply and demand for lithium has been difficult, given the still relatively nascent demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and the time needed to ramp up lithium production.

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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.