DAILY ROUND-UP – FastMarkets on the slow spring, Shanghai nickel premiums and LME sell-off

A round-up of the top FastMarkets stories from May 5: 

Nickel premiums in Shanghai dropped this week due to negative LME-SHFE arbitrage, the time needed for delivery against the popular SHFE May contract and the fact that newly expanded warehouses in China are already nearing capacity.

The US economy will continue its historic recovery from the depths of the 2008/2009 Great Recession, albeit at an unspectacular pace, according to George Hammond, director at Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.

Base metals continued their retreat on Thursday as China’s subpar recovery and fresh United States labour market concerns dampened the mood.

The spring season has been a real dud across all regions and for most metals. Premiums are depressed and spot demand is nearly non-existent. Hopes for one last demand surge before the summer starts fades with each passing sunset, with no evidence that things could turn around any time soon.

Aleris’ first-quarter profit dropped 18 percent from the same period of last year, which it attributed to unfavourable spreads that spoiled consistently higher sales volumes.

Teck Resources has concluded initial annual deals with some Chinese smelters for the supply of low-silver lead concentrates from its Red Dog mine in Alaska with treatment charges (TCs) of around $130-140 per tonne.

Volumes in the Shanghai Futures Exchange nickel contracts surged and open interest hit a record high this week when funds switched to the metal after the exchange introduced measures to cool trading on its steel contracts.

Jiang Xinfang, formerly president director of Shanghai Tsingshan Mineral Co and managing director at Guangdong Century Tsingshan Nickel Industry Co, has recently left Tsingshan Group.

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.