DAILY ROUND-UP – FastMarkets on US copper and ali premiums; zinc forecasts and HKEX earnings

A round-up of the top FastMarkets stories from May 11: 

The United States copper market is a bright spot in a dreary global marketplace amid robust rod demand, exceptionally tight secondary supply and a sudden lack of available off-grade material.

Growing Chinese speculative activity has distorted the true price of metals, including that of nickel, market participants said.

Suppliers of primary aluminium to the US have seen an uptick in spot demand due to lower London Metal Exchange prices but higher premiums remain elusive.

Base metals ended Wednesday LME trading in positive territory, supported by a weaker dollar while the market awaits Chinese data releases tomorrow for fresh direction.

Tightness in the global zinc concentrates market has yet to have an impact on the refined market so far this year but prices will move above $2,000 in the fourth quarter, Volcan Cia Minera commercial manager Paolo Cabrejos said.

The nickel market will finally swing to a deficit in 2016, mainly via supply cuts, after years of over-supply, Macquarie senior commodities consultant Jim Lennon said.

A zinc price of $2,100-2,300 per tonne might incentivise Glencore to restart its idled zinc plants delegates said on the sidelines of the MB Zinc conference here.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) posted Ebitda of HK$248 million ($32 million) for its commodities business in January-March, a 23-percent decline from the same quarter of last year, because of drops in trading fees and volume at the London Metal Exchange.

SoctiaMocatta, the precious metals trading division of Scotia Bank, is closing its trading desk in Dubai, sources have told FastMarkets.

Zinc prices should rise in 2017 due to supply tightness for raw materials, panel speakers said during the Metal Bulletin zinc conference in Madrid.

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.