WEEK IN BRIEF: Charles Li talks minis; Fanya rule changes; post-Qingdao court case

Metal Bulletin deputy editor Fleur Ritzema picks out some of the week’s top stories and price moves in metals.

Metal Bulletin deputy editor Fleur Ritzema picks out some of the week’s top stories and price moves in metals.

Copper traders have started negotiating long-term contracts with downstream buyers in China, trying to work the spread between producers’ contract offers and the much lower spot market. Few deals have been signed so far, market sources told Metal Bulletin sister title Copper Price Briefing. More here.

Futures prices for the London Metal Exchange’s benchmark contract had gained almost 2% by the end of the week after the Black Friday sell-off and Shanghai copper premiums rose on increased demand.

There was desperation and panic at Citi when news broke about the Qingdao incident, a London court heard as trading company Mercuria challenges the bank’s treatment of it. Our reporter Chloe Smith is covering the case.

Charles Li, ceo of Hong Kong Exchange (HKEx), told Metal Bulletin’s Shivani Singh in an interview that the London minis are a “necessary” step to mainland tie-up and he hopes to replicate Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect for commodities in less than three years’ time.

He also talked about the LME fees increases and the changing regulatory environment here.

And here you can read comments from the HKEx Asia commodities head on what early trading of its London mini futures demonstrates.

The LME’s head of sales, Paul MacGregor, said that the exchange would be happy to work with more proprietary traders, provided they comply with the relevant regulations. See Claire Hack’s report from the Mines and Money conference, here.

In other exchange news, there have been rule changes at the Fanya minor metals exchange in recent weeks. What is going on? Read here about what happened and why.

Caution not panic: find out how markets reacted in general, and in indium in particular.

ICE will launch commodities and yuan futures contracts in Singapore next year. Read more here.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange has, meanwhile, set up a 3,000-tonne capacity warehouse for copper in Jiangxi.

US Midwest aluminium premiums hit a new record high, but spot premiums on the Japanese market fell.

Read here about the outlook for first quarter benchmark aluminium premiums in Japan.

Rio Tinto was in London on Thursday for an investor seminar, and the company announced its commitment to strengthening its aluminium business by focusing on its bauxite assets and lower-cost smelting operations. Read the full story here.

Lead producers in Europe have secured higher premiums for 99.985% material on scrap shortages that threaten capacity at secondary producers.

In alloys, tungsten company Vietnam Youngsun stopped production in November and will not start again for the remainder of the year or the first quarter of 2015, Metal Bulletin has been told. Find out why it made this decision, here.

It was a volatile week for ammonium paratungstate (APT). APT prices staged a recovery in Europe on Friday, after plunging earlier in the week.

You can see all the APT and ferro-tungsten trades, bids and offers, here.

And as for manganese ore, you can forget price increases. But there’s no need to panic yet, writes Janie Davies.

In case you missed it…
Metal Bulletin’s calendar for assessed price and index publication over Christmas and the New Year is available here.

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