DAILY ROUND-UP – FastMarkets on Freeport Indonesia exports; Gunvor cuts metals exposure

A round-up of FastMarkets’ top stories published on February 1.

There was a smooth start to open-outcry trading on the trading floor at the London Metal Exchange’s (LME) new headquarters on Monday, as the world’s largest non-ferrous metals market settled into its purpose-built new premises.

Freeport-McMoRan’s subsidiary in Indonesia, PT Freeport Indonesia, will not be allowed to export copper concentrates from its Grasberg mine from February 20 because it has yet to secure a new export licence.

Swiss commodities trader Gunvor will lower its exposure to base metals, with a slew of traders leaving the company.

Base metals moved away from earlier lows during late-Monday LME trading amid some day-trade covering but prices were still mixed at the end of the first day of the new month.

The surprise increase in Chinese copper imports in December did not reflect growth in demand but was due to currency arbitration, expectations of further deprecations in the yuan and a “negative” LME/SHFE arbitrage.

Leigh Crump has left Standard Bank after 13 years to join physical merchant Ambrian Ltd in London.

AZZ Inc has has acquired the assets of Alpha Galvanizing, an Atkinson, Nebraska-based business unit of Olson Industries, which manufactures electrical utility poles, agricultural machinery and industrial manufacturing components.

Alcoa has appointed three new board members – they are: John Plant, the former president and CEO of TRW Automotive; Rick Schmidt, former CEO of Spirit Aerosystmes; and Sean O. Mahoney, a former Goldman Sachs banker.

China’s largest copper producers, Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group and Jiangxi Copper Co, have separately warned of dismal 2015 fiscal year results due to falling copper prices.

Robust zinc imports into China in the second half of last year are unlikely to continue in the first quarter of this year.

Around 10 percent of primary aluminium production capacity at Hydro’s Ardal plant in Norway is temporarily shut down following a power outage last Friday night.

US global investment firm Franklin Templeton has become a substantial shareholder of Noble Group after it bought 2.5 million shares in the Singapore-listed commodity trader for 28.5 Singapore cents (20 US cents).

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.