WEEK IN BRIEF: Glencore share price slump; Alcoa split; Aurubis premiums; copper TC/RCs rise

Charlotte Radford takes a look at the last five days’ metals market news and price moves, as covered by Metal Bulletin.

Charlotte Radford takes a look at the last five days’ metals market news and price moves, as covered by Metal Bulletin.

Eyes were firmly on Glencore at the start of the week. The company’s shares dropped by as much as 31% in London on Monday, as analysts at Investec warned that the company’s earnings potential would be wiped out by its debt obligations if commodity price weakness persists.

Here, Andrea Hotter looked at the perceptions and price falls challenging the company.

And Deutsche Bank warned that Glencore’s stock could be at the mercy of copper and coal prices, and could continue to slide.

But on Tuesday, the miner-trader’s shares bounced by as much as 21.5%, as the company confirmed its “robust” financial and operational position. At the time of writing, Glencore shares were trading at 90.5p, compared with Monday’s close of 68.6p.

Sharp falls in the company’s share price added to lingering concerns over demand for industrial metals, putting pressure on LME base metal prices in the first half of the week. Nickel had another stint below $10,000 per tonne, before rallying to $10,455 in Thursday’s official session. Copper also fell below $5,000 before rebounding on better-than-expected economic data from China.

Catch up with Friday’s activity on the LME here.

In other exchange news, midweek the LME announced a consultation on the inclusion of an anti-abuse mechanism to govern the application of its proposed queue-based rent capping rules.

And LME Week 2015 is fast approaching; click here for our interactive map and guide to the week’s events.

Falling commodity prices have also hit 5N Plus. The speciality metals firm has cancelled some contractual purchases and attempted to renegotiate or extend the time-frame of others, sources told James Heywood.

Company news also came from Alcoa, which is splitting into two independent companies. One will be focused upstream on bauxite, alumina and aluminium, and the other downstream on high-tech materials across a range of products and markets.

Meanwhile, copper producer Codelco will cut its executive headcount by 15.6% in response to lower copper prices.

Peru declared a state of emergency in parts of its southern Andean region after protests against the Las Bambas copper project left at least three people dead and several injured.

Aurubis has set its 2016 contractual cathode premium at $92 per tonne, market sources told Metal Bulletin. Mark Burton had the details earlier today.

And treatment and refining charges for copper concentrates rose further in the second half of September as traders destocked and smelters scaled back purchases ahead of contractual supply talks for 2016. Click here for the latest numbers.

Horizonte Minerals will buy Glencore’s Araguaia nickel project in Brazil for $8 million. Fleur Ritzema has details of the sale.

Staying in Brazil, Ferbasa’s sales volumes and revenues were up year-on-year in August, as it increased efforts to reduce stocks and the strengthening US dollar boosted revenues.

In the ores and alloys markets, we saw the European charge and high carbon ferro-chrome benchmark price fall 4 cents to $1.04 per lb.

There were also price falls for molybdenum as suppliers slashed offer prices in an effort to secure scarce demand.

In Tapped In, Janie Davies looked at the fortnight of heavy losses that has hit ores and alloys prices, as some were daring to suggest that floors had finally been hit.

And we were sorry to report that Trafigura founder Claude Dauphin has died at the age of 64 after a long battle with cancer. Mark Burton had the details.

Charlotte Radford
Twitter: @CRadford_MB

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