DAILY ROUND-UP – FastMarkets in Alcoa power deal, ali premiums and China imports

A round-up of FastMarkets’ top stories published on April 13.

Base metals extended the upmoves seen in the previous session during upbeat Wednesday LME trading – wider sentiment was boosted by equities rising to 2016 highs, positive Chinese trade figures and fresh strength in oil prices, traders said.

Alcoa and its power provider are working on a new deal to keep 2.5 potlines running at the Intalco Works smelter in Ferndale, Washington, until February 14, 2018, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) posted on its website.

Canadian aluminium production continued its upward trend by increasing for the tenth consecutive month in March. Output last month rose 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 3,202,689 tonnes, up 49,145 tonnes over February.

The sharp increase in Chinese copper imports in March was arbitrage driven rather than due to an improvement in end-market demand, sources told FastMarkets.

Chinese copper smelters and large position holders in Shanghai’s bonded warehouses have been consistently delivering metal into LME warehouses in southeast Asia, as predicted when FastMarkets first reported the plans on March 30.

China’s unwrought aluminium and aluminium product exports rose 50 percent month-on-month to 420,000 tonnes in March, according to preliminary data published by the country’s General Administration of Customs on Wednesday.

China’s imports of unwrought copper and copper products rose 33.9 percent month-on-month to 570,000 tonnes in March, according to preliminary data.

Industry specialist Simon Hunt is positive about Chinese copper demand for this year and expects consumption to be strong in the second quarter.

Will Adams

About Will Adams

William Adams has been involved in the metals markets since 1982 – he has experience in many areas of the market from researching to trading and has worked in London, New York and Tokyo.