LIVE FUTURES REPORT 06/04: Over 2% gains for most LME base metals prices; aluminium rewarrantings continue

London Metal Exchange futures prices for copper, nickel, zinc and tin started the week with gains on Tuesday April 6, following positive economic data released in the United States and China on Monday.

Tin’s three-month price jumped by 3.4% to $25,985 per tonne at 9am on Tuesday, the biggest increase in the complex, closely followed by zinc, which was up 2.7% to $2,858.50 per tonne from last Thursday’s close of $2,774.50 per tonne.

“The Caxin Composite [Index] came in at 53.1 against a previous of 51.7 and that seems to have triggered a wave of speculative buying in the metals,” Kingdom Futures Malcolm Freeman said in a morning note.

Meanwhile, in the US, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) purchasing managers’ index for the services industry jumped to 63.7 in March from 55.3 in February.

Copper’s three-month price also jumped this morning, rising by 2.4% to $9,006.50 per tonne at 9am. There was a 15,000-tonne fresh cancellation of copper at LME warehouses in Rotterdam on Tuesday.

Inventory levels more than doubled to 111,500 tonnes over March, having started the month at 42,125 tonnes in Rotterdam. Sheds in the Dutch city had just under 20,000 tonnes of intake last week.

And copper’s price on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange “jumped as much as 4.3% yesterday [on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange] after reports the top producer, Chile, will close its borders for a month to stem the surge of new Covid-19 cases. The market feared a closure might cause delays in replacement equipment at leading mines, but the Chilean government said the restrictions will not disrupt mining operations,” Marex Spectron’s LME Desk analyst Anna Stablum said.

Data released by the country’s national copper commission, Cochilco, showed a 5% decrease in Chilean copper production over February to 425,500 tonnes.

Elsewhere in LME stocks, 10,500 tonnes of aluminium were rewarranted on Tuesday in Port Klang, Malaysia. This follows the over 65,000 tonnes that were also rewarranted on March 29 and April 1.

A spate in cancellations over the last two weeks of March, after the delivery of more than 650,000 tonnes on March 11-12, caused queues of over three months to build up in the city’s warehouses to take out material.

The LME aluminium price was up by 1.4% on Tuesday at 9am to $2,256.50 per tonne.

Other highlights

  • The three-month nickel price was up by 2.1% on Tuesday at 9am to $16,555 per tonne. The metal had a 0.9% increase on April 1, while it was down by 2.7% over the first quarter of the year.
  • The US Dollar Index eased to 92.62 on Tuesday morning, from 92.92 at the close on April 1. The index reached a year-to-date high of 93.44 on March 31.
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