DAILY ROUND-UP – FastMarkets on warehouse queues and physical premiums

A round-up of FastMarkets’ top stories published on April 12.

The queues to take aluminium out of LME-registered warehouses were mixed in March – waiting times increased in Vlissingen but dropped in Detroit and disappeared altogether in New Orleans.

The availability of aluminium stored in listed warehouses in the London Metal Exchange (LME) system in Vlissingen has slumped to its lowest since August 2012, data showed on Tuesday.

Copper futures surged amid a wave of technical buying and a major rebound in oil prices, but long-term fundamentals are sloped to the downside with miners hesitant to cut output.

Physical base metals markets enjoyed an increase in end-use buying and firmer premiums in China, where import arbitrage ratios improved, amid lower LME prices over the past week.

US imports of aluminium in February pulled back month-on-month but remained at historically high levels due to a wide arbitrage window between the US Midwest premium and the Rotterdam duty-unpaid premium earlier in the year.

After a lull in the first two months of the year, the US Aluminum Association’s Index of Net New Orders of Aluminum Mill Products increased 8.8 month-on-month in March, which signifies that a restocking cycle has started.

Alcoa has revised downward its 2016 global demand forecast for aluminum to five percent from six percent due to slightly worse conditions in China and North America.

The slump in commodity price has highlighted the worst effects of more than a decade of bullish markets, Antofagasta chairman Jean-Paul Luksic said.

The Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) will roll out its Shanghai Gold Benchmark on April 19, the exchange confirmed.

Vedanta’s production of both refined and mined zinc outside of India fell 27 percent to 226,000 tonnes in the fiscal year to the end of March 2016.

A long running industrial dispute at Rio Tinto Alcan’s ISAL Straumsvík aluminium smelter Iceland has ended after the plant’s union accepted a proposed solution by the state mediator, a move that could put pressure on European premiums for aluminium billets.

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.