WEEK IN BRIEF: Noble allegations; Zinc TCs; manganese shutdown; aluminium premiums newsletter

While Chinese New Year may have left some markets deflated, it was another busy week for Metal Bulletin’s news teams across the rest of the world.

While Chinese New Year may have left some markets deflated, it was another busy week for Metal Bulletin’s news teams across the rest of the world.

Here, deputy editor Fleur Ritzema takes a look back at some of the big stories from the past week.

Research firm Iceberg made some serious allegations about Singapore-listed trading company Noble Group’s accounting practices, driving down its share price and prompting a strong response from Noble.

Following the release of the report, Noble’s share price ended the day on the Singapore Exchange at S$1.11 (82 US cents), down 7.88% from the previous close of trading.

In an initial statement following the report, Noble completely rejected Iceberg’s claims, and in an additional statement released on Tuesday February 17, it added that “no attempt was made by Iceberg to air their concerns with the management of the group prior to publication” of the report.

Noble has since said the allegations have been referred to the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Here, Hotline considers what we know about the company whose report wiped hundreds of millions of dollars off Noble’s market cap.

Elsewhere in the markets, less than six months after lifting a duty on copper cathode exports, the Russian government is considering reintroducing the levy to protect domestic copper consumers. See the full comment from Copper Price Briefing’s Mark Burton, here.

At the International Zinc Assn Conference in Florida, miners and smelters were beginning their discussions of annual zinc treatment charges from a much closer starting point this year; Noble said that Zinc stocks on the London Metal Exchange have fallen significantly, but data suggests that not all of the withdrawn metal is actually going to real consumption; mine closures will aid zinc prices according to Macquarie; and global zinc concentrate supplies are adequate according to Wood Mackenzie.

Also this week in zinc, South Korea’s Public Procurement Service bought 2,000 tonnes of zinc through a tender at a premium of $155 per tonne.

In exchange news, the London Metal Exchange has said it will exclude aluminium, copper and zinc from its order-to-trade ratio on third Wednesday prompt dates from the middle of March as it seeks to promote liquidity in those monthly prices. For the full story, click here.

And in Asia, PT Freeport Indonesia said it is advancing with plans to build a copper smelter in East Java and is also discussing the possibility of expanding industrial activities in Papua.

A group of Indonesian tin exporters, meanwhile, voted to cap shipments of the soldering metal at 2,000 tpm for at least three months. More here.

Earlier in the week, Indonesia’s largest tin exporter PT Timah decided to suspend all spot sales till prices recover to at least $20,000 per tonne.

Rwanda’s tin and tungsten producer Tinco plans to triple production from its mines in the country in the next year and a half, ceo Brian Menell told Metal Bulletin.

In the alloys, Assmang has said it will stop producing manganese alloy at its Machadodorp furnace in April and has notified unions that it plans staff retrenchment at its Black Rock mine.

And finally, Metal Bulletin has launched a new product to provide aluminium premiums to subscribers without the obligation to also subscribe to other Metal Bulletin services.

The weekly newsletter of all the aluminium premiums that Metal Bulletin assesses across the globe will be published every Monday morning. To subscribe to this service, please contact Merrin Higgins at m_higgins@metalbulletin.com. More information here.

Fleur Ritzema
Twitter: FleurRitzema_MB

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