WEEK IN BRIEF: LME location under threat; Impala/Wanxiang case; Hotter on Noble v Iceberg; Al premiums

All the latest metal news and price moves from Metal Bulletin.

LME location under threat?
There was startling news from Malaysia on March 16, when the London Metal Exchange said it might stop issuing new warrants unless the government confirms that the trade in metal in the free-trade zone is exempt from a new tax, which is coming into force on April 1.

Click here for the story…

… and for the reaction (easing spreads, deliveries out) here.

Cancelled warrants for copper shot up immediately: Metal Bulletin’s Shivani Singh had the story.

Aluminium premiums under pressure
Term premiums for aluminium on a cif main Japanese ports have fallen by $45 per tonne in the second quarter in negotiations concluded far more speedily than other recent talks. All the latest information here.

More pressure in the US midwest: latest market report here.

Check out our latest trade log here.

With premiums falling, how close to the bottom is the market? One senior aluminium executive reckons the room for further drops is limited. Read more here.

Metal Bulletin has been following the development of an aluminium pricing coalition in China closely. Linda Lin in our Shanghai office reports.

If you’re interested in why Metal Bulletin assesses base metal premiums in Asia, how we do it, and some of the key markets that we cover, you should consider joining us for a free hour-long web seminar at 14:00 hours Singapore time on Thursday April 2. Sign up here.

Zinc premiums in Europe slipped: click here to understand what happened and why.

More details of South32
BHP Billiton gave more details of its spin-off company South32: info here.

Interview on new LME structure
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing’s ceo set out his views on the LME’s plans to create more liquidity in the monthly prompt dates in an exclusive interview with Metal Bulletin’s Andrea Hotter. Read what he had to say here.

Being in a group of one has its advantages, but it has its disadvantages too. Andrea Hotter asks whether the Noble Group critic Iceberg is a real threat…

Following the conclusion of the Qingdao-related hearings in London in the case of Impala Warehousing and Logistics (Shanghai) Co Ltd vs Wanxiang Resources (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Metal Bulletin looks at the evidence on Wanxiang’s side.

… and Impala’s.

A lot of interest in Ormonde Mining. Metal Bulletin’s Claire Hack reviews a takeover approach for the tungsten miner and a financing deal.

Why is a minor metals refiner in Canada so exposed to price movements on the Fanya Metal Exchange? Click here to discover what Chloe Smith worked out.

Milling about
Trafigura cfo steps down.

Browning leaves Jefferies Bache.

Turek joins Marchant and Bingley.


What to read next
Aluminium and nickel appear to have once again escaped inclusion in the latest list of sanctions imposed by western governments on Russia, ending days of speculation that increased both the prices and the traded volumes of the metals.
Fastmarkets launches MB-CU-0513 copper cathode equivalent grade (EQ), cif Southeast Asia, $/tonne on Tuesday February 20.
Fastmarkets’ 2024 outlook for key raw materials and ingredients used in the production and distribution of fast-moving consumer goods
Weak demand continues to stem profitability and prevent capacity return in the European aluminium market, Norsk Hydro’s chief executives told Fastmarkets in an exclusive interview on Wednesday February 14.
The publication of Fastmarkets’ rand fixing prices for LME trade for Monday February 12 were delayed due to a technical issue.
The copper concentrate market was already tight, but the addition of major new smelting capacity this year – starting with the expansion of Freeport’s Gresik smelter in Indonesia — will likely mean maintenance breaks, capacity curtailments and potentially even closures while operating costs start to become untenable, Fastmarkets understands.