A round-up of the top FastMarkets stories from May 17:
Physical base metal markets premiums fell across Asia over the past week, with excess supply swamping stagnant demand. China is still wrestling with overcapacity as well as slower growth; it’s a similar story in other countries in the region.
Base metals were largely rangebound during Tuesday LME trading, with some stability seen from strength in other commodities.
These are strange times. The mood at the London Metal Exchange is defensive, a reflection of falling volumes there while business at the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) and on Comex grows.
The US Aluminum Association’s index of net new orders of aluminium mill products decreased 3.2 percent in April from the previous month.
Stocks of aluminium at Japan’s major ports (MJP) fell six percent in April to their lowest since September 2014 but remain at high levels, according to data from Marubeni Corp.
Mitsubishi Materials is forecasting an 11.6-percent decline in operating profit for its metals business to 21.4 billion yen ($195 million) for the current fiscal year ending March 2017, according to its annual results released on Tuesday.
More than 70 percent of global nickel production is loss-making at the first-quarter average spot price but only 17 percent of these operations are at risk of closure, Norilsk Nickel said.
Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the issuer rating of China Minmetals Corp to Baa1 from A3, reflecting the weak state of earnings in the company’s metal and mining portfolio due to the decline in global base metal prices.