LIVE FUTURES REPORT 24/04: SHFE base metals prices broadly down; aluminium dives

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were broadly down during Asian morning trading on Tuesday April 24, with aluminium prices falling the most after the United States announced it would not impose secondary sanctions against UC Rusal.

The most-traded June aluminium contract price on the SHFE fell to 14,480 yuan ($2,295) per tonne as of 10.24am Shanghai time, down by 3.7% or 555 yuan from Monday’s close.

This follows on from the weakness witnessed on the London Metal Exchange on Monday, when the exchange’s three-month aluminium price declined by 7.5% after the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said it will not impose secondary sanctions on non-US persons for engaging in the same activity involving Rusal or its subsidiaries that the General License 14 authorizes.

The US also said that it would consider lifting the sanctions if Rusal’s major shareholder, Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, ceded control of the company.

“US Treasury comments on the pathway to relieve sanctions against UC Rusal pushed base metal prices down sharply,” ANZ Research noted on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, nickel, which had previously benefitted from speculation about possible US sanctions against Russian nickel producer Nornickel, also suffered a considerable decline following the US’ softer stance on the Rusal sanctions.

The July nickel contract price on the SHFE fell by 1% or 1,110 yuan to 103,820 yuan per tonne as of 10.24am Shanghai time.

The weaker tone in aluminium and nickel spread through to the rest of the base metals, with only zinc managing to eke out a slight gain.

Base metals prices

  • The SHFE September tin contract price fell 1,530 yuan to 146,620 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE June copper contract price slumped 320 yuan to 51,540 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE June lead contract price was down 85 yuan to 18,355 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE June zinc contract price inched up 10 yuan to 24,510 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was flat at 90.93 as of 11.35am Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price decreased by 0.18% to $74.88 per barrel as of 10.28am Shanghai time, while the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price was down by 0.06% to $68.87.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was up by 2.07% to 3,131.52 as of 11.30am Shanghai time.
  • In US data today, we have the April CB consumer confidence reading and new home sales for March of note.

LME snapshot at 03.23am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price ($ per tonne) Change since yesterday’s close ($)
Copper 6,944.50 1
Aluminium 2,269 -26
Lead 2,332 12
Zinc 3,247 18
Tin 21,175 125
Nickel 14,265 0
SHFE snapshot at 10.24am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan per tonne) Change since yesterday’s close (yuan)
Copper (June) 51,540 -320
Aluminium (June) 14,480 -555
Zinc (June) 24,510 10
Lead (June) 18,355 -85
Tin  (September) 146,620 -1,530
Nickel  (July) 103,820 -1,110

Changjiang spot snapshot on April 24
  Range (yuan per tonne) Change (yuan)
Copper  51,640-51,660 -340
Aluminium 14,470-14,510 -460
Zinc 24,840-25,840 -40
Lead 18,450-18,650 0
Tin  145,000-146,500 -1,000
Nickel  103,850-104,150 -1,000