DAILY ROUND-UP – FastMarkets on China nickel premiums and ali cable substitution

A round-up of the top FastMarkets stories from July 21. 

Base metals were mixed on the LME on Thursday, with nickel and zinc the star performers - they surged to fresh highs while speculators piled in.

Concerns that mining in the Philippines has been affected by the recent audit have been overblown, the Philippines Chamber of Mines’ legal expert Ronald Recidoro said.

Cable manufacturers have plenty of affordable and safe aluminium products to sell but many consumers remain hesitant to move away from copper.

Nickel premiums plunged to eight-month lows in China earlier this week – the LME-SHFE arbitrage worsened after LME prices bounced following reports of potential supply-side disruptions in the Philippines.

Philippines largest nickel miner Nickel Asia Corp (NAC) said nickel ore stockpile shipments from Manicani island may be halted but has downplayed the impact in such a situation.

Nickel traders see a limited impact on China from current and potential supply-side disruptions in the Philippines mainly because of signs of weak demand, high domestic stocks and the ready availability of replacement material.

All base metals were in deficit in January-May, with the copper market undersupplied by 48,000 tonnes during the period, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) said Wednesday.

Chinese exports of aluminium fabricated products fell 16.6 percent year-on-year to 340,000 tonnes in June, according to final trade data published by the country’s General Administration of Customs on Thursday.

Chinese imports of unwrought copper and copper alloy rose 25 percent year-on-year but were unchanged month-on-month at 380,000 tonnes in June, according to final trade data released by the country’s General Administration of Customs on Thursday.


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.