WEEK-IN-BRIEF: LME court ruling; Ebola hits metal movement; Rusal; Chalco and much more

The news was coming in thick and fast as August drew to a close. Metal Bulletin's Deputy Editor Fleur Ritzema highlights some of the key stories from the past week.

The news was coming in thick and fast as August drew to a close. Metal Bulletin’s Deputy Editor Fleur Ritzema highlights some of the key stories from the past week.

The LME was back in the headlines after it was dismissed from a US antitrust lawsuit on the grounds that it is an “organ of the UK government”.

Reactions to the news were mixed. Metal Bulletin’s Andrea Hotter called it “inevitable”, and Hotline wrote that the LME will be “forever British”. Read more here and here.

An outbreak of Ebola in the DRC prompted concern among some cobalt and copper participants after African border controls between Zambia and Botswana restricted movement of material. Metal Bulletin had the story, here.

Truck drivers travelling between the DRC and South Africa are also being closely monitored, and future movements have been restricted.

For the latest updates on the spread of Ebola, check out the World Health Organization website.

Elsewhere, there was more fallout from Qingdao, as a unit of China’s Citic Resources confirmed another lawsuit it faces over aluminium ingots.

In company news, Russian aluminium producer Rusal posted its first quarterly profit in over a year in the second quarter as earnings were boosted by rising aluminium prices and premiums.

And, here’s one from the archives. Oleg Deripaska tells Metal Bulletin: “We’re waiting for the aluminium industry to do its homework.” Read the full profile, here.

It was a good week for Russian metal producers, as nickel producer Norilsk’s net profits almost tripled in the first half of the year.

China’s Chalco posted a wider first-half loss this week.  

And Newmont Mining said it had dropped arbitration against the Indonesian government.

Umicore continued to grow its US cobalt business, acquiring CP Chemicals and entering a strategic partnership with Global Tungsten & Powders.

In the markets, Rio Tinto has now offered fourth-quarter MJP aluminium at $420 per tonne. That’s 3-5% higher than current-quarter levels, but $40 lower than UC Rusal’s indicative offer a week earlier. BHP and Alcoa are up next.

Chinese stainless mills began the latest round of purchasing of nickel pig iron.

In minor metals, European bismuth prices hit a fresh three-year high.

We were at the Manganese & Selenium conference in Hunan. Here are some of the things we learned there.

Metal Bulletin’s Chloe Smith took a look into why India has been buying so much more manganese ore from South Africa this year.

And just how much are the world’s ten largest investment banks collecting from commodities markets? Check out the latest data from analytics group Coalition, here.

Oh and FYI… BHP Billiton’s Scottish-born ceo may want to break up his company, but he’s not keen for a demerger of the UK. Hotline explains.

Fleur Ritzema
fritzema@metalbulletin.com
Twitter: FleurRitzema_MB

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