LIVE FUTURES REPORT 13/04: LME aluminium price at $2,280/t; zinc inflows in Asia continue

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were largely trading sideways during the morning session on Tuesday April 13, after decreases across the board on Monday due to warnings out of China about rising commodity prices.

The three-month aluminium price bucked the trend however, rising by 0.8% to $2,280.50 per tonne as at 9am on Tuesday, from a closing price on Monday of $2,262 per tonne. The price had risen as high as $2,289 per tonne during early trading, the most in four trading days.

The light metal was one of the more resilient on the exchange on Monday, when most metals were brought lower due to the “growing concern about tightening policies that could emanate from China, as government authorities there are becoming increasingly concerned about rising inflationary pressures and red-hot real estate activity,” ED&F Man’s head of commodity research Edward Meir noted.

The three-month nickel price, which was down by 3% on Monday to close at $16,134 per tonne, recovered slightly to $16,155 per tonne this morning.

The metal’s price was also affected on Monday by the news that Nornickel – the largest producer of high-grade nickel – had resumed operations at one of its two mines which were flooded in February.

Elsewhere in the complex, intakes of zinc into LME sheds in Asia continued on Tuesday; some 17,100 tonnes of zinc were delivered into warehouses in Singapore, according to LME data, bringing the total amount of material on the LME system to 298,025 tonnes.

On Monday morning, there was a 14,600-tonne inflow of zinc into Port Klang and Singapore sheds, raising the amount of on-warrant material available by 6% in one day. On-warrant zinc stocks totaled 264,425 tonnes on Tuesday, the most since February 2.

The LME zinc cash-to-three month spread reached an over four-week high of $23.55 per tonne contango on Monday, widening from $21.50 per tonne.

Other highlights

  • Economic data out on Tuesday includes US consumer prices readings and the small business index from the National Federation of Independent Business.
  • Out of Europe, readings include German wholesale prices, Italian industrial production and German and EU economic sentiment readings from Zentrum fur Europaische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW).
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