DAILY ROUND-UP – FastMarkets on CME alloy contract and possible Alcoa Spanish smelters sale

A round-up of the top FastMarkets stories from May 26.

The LME’s latest initiative to provide cheaper, direct access to Select, its electronic trading platform, has worried exchange members who claim they will be increasingly bypassed.

Base metals reversed direction during the latter stages of LME trading on Thursday – an early corrective rally petered out while spot crude oil prices were struggling to stay above $50 per barrel, a level regained for the first time this year.

The CME Group will launch its new aluminium A380 alloy futures contract next week but the seeds were planted seven years ago when the first queue formed at London Metal Exchange-bonded warehouses in Detroit.

The CME Group has gained a foothold in the aluminium market by launching simple cash-settled futures contracts targeted at regional participants.

The physical copper market in the US has suddenly become much tighter because scrap is hard to source while Comex and LME warehouse stocks have fallen.

Alcoa is looking to sell its remaining Spanish aluminium smelting operations at San Ciprian, La Coruña and Avilés and is sounding out potential buyers

Molybdenum prices continued their second-quarter rally in Europe this week and, after a particularly sharp mid-week movement, hit their highest levels since late-January 2015.

The latest Chinese metals data published by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) showing higher April copper output and lower zinc production reflects the different fortunes of Chinese copper and zinc smelters.

China’s refined copper production rose 11 percent year-on-year to 2.72 million tonnes in January-April, according to data published by China’s National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) on Wednesday.

South Korea has purchased 1,000 tonnes of copper at a premium of $64 per tonne over London Metal Exchange (LME) cash prices on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) basis via a tender, the state-run Public Procurement Service (PPS) said.

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.