DAILY ROUND-UP – FastMarkets on physical ali trading and zinc backwardation

A daily round-up of the top FastMarkets stories from August 25. 

Base metals were something of a mixed bag on Thursday – the weakness in copper extended to aluminium, nickel and tin but zinc, lead and tin edged higher.

The time when traders could make big money simply by sitting on aluminium stocks is long gone. It’s a tougher world out there now - tiny contangos, low premiums and aggressive competition are combining to cut margins and threaten market share.

The US has been inundated with too much aluminium metal over the past nine months but that’s not the only reason that premiums are falling. Not enough people are talking about the fact that demand has weakened beyond what is seasonally normal.

The tightening of the nearby LME zinc spreads could bring more of the metal onto the exchange, market participants told FastMarkets.

Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW) has asked prosecutors to investigate copper miner KGHM over the purchase of Canada’s Quadra FNX, which has metal deposits in Chile, it said.

Copper market supply from dominant producer Chile faces a shake-up after a calmer-than-average year, with miners Anglo American and Codelco starting what could become fiercely contested wage negotiations with workers at mines there.

Chinese imports of tin ore and concentrates from Myanmar rose 80.2 percent year-on-year to 36,219 tonnes in July, according to latest customs data.

Former LME CEO Martin Abbott has been appointed non-executive chairman of Ambrian PLC on an interim basis, the company said on Thursday.

Chinese imports of refined zinc slumped 51.1 percent year-on-year to 16,817 tonnes in July, according to latest data from the Chinese customs. The July figure was also nearly half of the June total.

The China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) has come up with a work plan which includes expanding commercial stockpiling from aluminium and other nonferrous metals.

South32 is expecting lower nickel, zinc and lead production in its fiscal year ending June 2018, according to its annual report published Thursday.

UC Rusal’s adjusted net profit fell 78.6 percent year-on-year to $40 million in April-June on weak aluminium prices, the Russian aluminium producer said 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.