WEEK IN BRIEF: Fanya chairman captured; China’s ‘Black Monday’; conflict minerals ruling

Charlotte Radford takes a look at just some of the metals market news covered by Metal Bulletin over the past five days.

Charlotte Radford takes a look at just some of the metals market news covered by Metal Bulletin over the past five days.

The week started with the news that furious investors had seized Shan Jiuliang, chairman of the Fanya Metal Exchange. Shan was then handed over to the Shanghai police force, who hosted talks between the investors and Shan. Details are here.

According to a statement released by the minor metals exchange on Tuesday, Fanya will stop its stock-financing business and act only as a platform for spot trading after Friday August 28.

Staying in China, the country had its very own “Black Monday” as stocks slumped 8.49% – their steepest decline since February 2007. Here, Andrea Hotter looked at the efforts taken by the Chinse government to bring stability to its financial system.

And base metals took a beating as share markets plunged worldwide. Nickel lost 7% of its three-month price in Monday’s official session on the London Metal Exchange. The alloying metal ended the day just above $9,500 per tonne before staging a small rebound on Tuesday.

Find our latest rolling price report, covering the LME and SHFE price moves, here.

Metal Bulletin sister title AMM spoke to analysts about their expectations for the base metals.

And share market movements caused the Indian rupee to fall to its lowest level against the US dollar in two years, hitting the export price of Indian silico-manganese.

Staying in the alloys market, International Ferro Metals’ (IFM) South African subsidiary entered into business rescue as a result of “deteriorating business conditions”. The ferro-chrome producer then announced that it had shut down all its furnaces and mining operations.

A panel of judges at the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit has upheld its ruling that requiring companies to state that their products have “not been found to be ‘DRC conflict free’” is “unconstitutional”.

In Tapped In, Claire Hack looked at the fallout from the ruling.

Financial results came from South32, demerged from BHP Billiton in May this year. The company reported earnings of $575 million for its 2015 financial year, but warned of $350 million in cost cuts over the next three years.

The company also achieved record production from its manganese assets, but said it would prioritise financial performance. Details are here.

And BHP Billiton, the former owner of South32’s assets, reported a near-50% year-on-year drop in underlying earnings and profits for the 12 months ended June 30.

Anglo American has agreed to sell its interest in its copper business in northern Chile – Anglo American Norte – to a consortium led by Audley Capital Advisors.

And staying with copper, Freeport McMoRan announced aggressive actions in response to weak market conditions. The miner intends to slash its capital expenditure budget for 2016 and 2017, resulting in a sharp decline in its copper production and the suspension of one of its US mines. Andrea Hotter had the details.

In people moves, Dafydd Davies is believed to have stepped down from his position as a physical metals trader at Goldman Sachs and is set to move to rival investment bank BTG Pactual in November.

And Silke Gray will leave her role as director of procurement in the tungsten, molybdenum and rhenium unit of German technology metals manufacturer HC Starck.

Nickel prices fell below $10,000 per tonne on the LME this week, and may yet face more challenges in 2015, sister title AMM wrote.

A looming troop parade in Beijing in early September is expected to further weaken already bleak demand for nickel pig iron and nickel concentrate, Linda Lin wrote.

Rounding off with the aluminium market, UC Rusal’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation fell 21.2% quarter-on-quarter in the three months to June 30. Details are here.

And here, Deepali Sharma caught up with Jindal Aluminium’s BD Garg as aluminium extrusion makers in India urge the government not to raise import duties on primary metal and scrap, fearing the move would hit their business hard.

Charlotte Radford
Twitter: @CRadford_MB

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