DAILY ROUND-UP – FastMarkets on ISAL strike ending, physical premiums and Toyo shutdown

A round-up of FastMarkets’ top stories published on March 22:

Base metals ended Tuesday LME trading mostly in negative territory, with aluminium slipping below the key psychological level of $1,500, under pressure from a stronger dollar while the complex looks for fresh direction.

The physical metals markets again came under pressure this week amid continued lacklustre Chinese demand for metals.

A stevedore strike at Rio Tinto Alcan’s ISAL Straumsvík aluminium smelter in Iceland, which saw senior management forced to operate fork-lift trucks to load cargos and led to billet premiums rising in Europe, has been suspended.

Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM) has suspended production at its Toyo copper smelter and refinery in Ehime to carry out repairs after a leak of melted copper, the company’s press officer confirmed.

The European benchmark ferro-chrome price for the second quarter of 2016 was set at 82 cents per pound, down 10 cents or 10.87 percent from the first-quarter level of 92 cents, South Africa’s Merafe Resources said in a statement.

Henry Bath has become the first company to list a warehouse as an LMEshield facility in China, the London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Tuesday.

The Hong Kong high court had rejected Noble Group’s bid for summary judgement against former employee Arnaud Vagner and his firm Enlighten Ace, which is alleged to have published controversial reports on the Singapore-listed commodity trader via website Iceberg Research.

Noble Group expects its metals business to return to profitability in 2016 as it focuses on the aluminium supply chain, the Singapore-listed commodity trader said in its annual report on Tuesday.

Anglo American has achieved a total net debt benefit of $190 million with the completion of a bond buy-back programme, the miner announced on Tuesday.

China’s imports of refined zinc rose 2.5-times year-on-year but fell 24.6 percent month-on-month to 44,704 tonnes in February, according to latest data from the Chinese customs.

China’s refined nickel and nickel alloy imports near tripled rising 189.2 percent year-on-year to 30,279 tonnes in February, according to latest data from the Chinese customs.

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.