WEEK-IN-BRIEF: China’s metal funds; Shanxi Coal exposed to Qingdao company; Qatalum’s primary focus; death of senior Chinese copper exec

What metal stories and price moves have been on the agenda? Metal Bulletin editor Alex Harrison reviews the week

What metal stories and price moves have been on the agenda? Metal Bulletin editor Alex Harrison reviews the week

They have grown extremely rapidly — by double or triple digits yearly in percentage terms, according to some accounts — since 2008.

They played an influential role in Black Friday in March (the Friday when copper prices fell by over 4%) and are big positional players on the London Metal Exchange.

Where did these hedge funds come from, where are they now and where are they going?

And why should the markets pay attention?

Metal Bulletin has also produced case studies of two of China’s bigger private funds: Zhejiang Dunhe and Shanghai Chaos.

In the latest development of the Qingdao story, Shanxi Coal, which diversified into base metals trading a couple of years ago, has sued Dezheng Resources and Decheng Mining, the companies at the centre of the Qingdao probe, after it said it was not paid for alumina, aluminium and copper it supplied to the company.

Meanwhile China’s state auditor said it had uncovered that $15 billion of loans were backed by falsified gold trades.

The London Metal Exchange will continue to keep the ring open for “as long as the market needs it”. Ring dealers applauded the decision and #LME confirms the Ring to stay for a while yet. Pragmatic & good commercial reasons prevailed but hope broader use of the floor will follow.

— Michael Overlander (@Moverlander) June 23, 2014 " target="_blank">asked how business on the floor can be developed.

Aluminium prices on the LME broke through $1,900 per tonne — and then moved down again.

The ceo of a large smelter in the Gulf told Metal Bulletin’s Jethro Wookey that his company’s focus would remain on primary.

He was talking at about the same time that Alcoa spent $2.85 billion to buy a downstream company in the aerospace sector.

Third-quarter aluminium premiums in Japan have now been settled at levels between $400 and $405 per tonne cif, well up on the levels of the second quarter. Check out the recent spot premium levels in Japan here.

Ferro-molybdenum prices in Europe slid lower through the week on trader liquidation, while molybdic oxide in China was also under pressure.

A prospector in Australia has switched from gold to zinc.

Glencore appointed senior Sherritt executive Patrice Merrin as a non-exec.

Jianhong Wei, the chairman and ceo of Tongling Nonferrous, one of China’s largest copper smelters, died in a fall from a building, believed to have been a suicide.

Alex Harrison
Twitter: @alexharrison_mb

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