IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 5 key stories from March 28

Here are five Fastmarkets MB stories you might have missed on Thursday March 28 that are worth another look.

Weaker-than-expected demand from steel mills following the introduction of new rebar standards in China and increased use of ferro-niobium there have hit the ferro-vanadium market with prices in Europe now trading at levels last seen in December 2017. So far this month, the European ferro-vanadium price has fallen by more than 25%.

Market participants expect alumina prices to plummet upon any future announcement that Hydro’s alumina refinery, Alunorte, can return to full capacity, but agree the scheduled court date does not provide any further clarity. Alunorte, the largest alumina refinery in the world, has been running at only 50% of its production capacity since March 2018 because of restrictions imposed by authorities in Brazil.

China’s 10 biggest copper smelters have set a treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) purchase price floor of $73 per tonne/7.3 cents per lb for the second quarter of this year, sources close to the matter told Fastmarkets on Thursday March 28. The latest price floor marks a 21% drop from the first quarter’s level of $92 per tonne/9.2 cents per lb and was set at the Copper Smelter Purchase Team’s (CSPT) quarterly meeting in Shanghai on March 28.

Largo Resources achieved new highs in 2018 for production and revenue at its Maracas Menchen mine in Brazil, with record output of vanadium pentoxide. The Toronto-based vanadium producer showed total production of 9,830 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) in 2018 at the mine in the state of Bahia. This exceeded midpoint guidance of 9,650 tonnes by 2% and was a 6% increase over the total for 2017.

Copper and brass scrap prices in the United States have largely held steady over the past week, with sustained domestic and offshore competition helping to mitigate price erosion. Copper scrap discounts were mostly flat week on week, aside from that for refiners No1 copper, which widened by a penny to 14-16 cents per lb, according to Fastmarkets AMM’s latest assessment.

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