ROUND-UP – FastMarkets top stories from the week ending Sept 9

A round-up of the most read FastMarkets stories from the week ending September 9: 

FRIDAY, SEPT 9

London Metal Exchange (LME) base metals bar nickel moved lower on Friday as thin volumes indicate that the market hasn’t been quite able to shake off the summer malaise.

Chinese copper imports could rise in September, ending five consecutive months of month-on-month declines, although the increase may only be temporary, market participants said.

Worldwide Warehouse Solutions (WWS) has agreed to pay a fine of 30,000 pounds to the London Metal Exchange (LME) for an erroneous lead stock report issued earlier this year.

Deliverable copper stocks at SHFE warehouses fell 8,688 tonnes or 5.7 percent week-on-week to 143,716 tonnes as of September 9, according to data from the exchange.

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) and China’s Shandong provincial government have a signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at supporting and promoting future developments in the commodities and capital markets.

Nevsun Resources has sold and shipped the first zinc concentrate product from its Bisha copper-zinc mine in Eritrea, East Africa.

China’s ex-works producer prices in the non-ferrous metal smelting and fabricating industry grew 0.8 percent year-on-year in August, according to data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

THURSDAY, SEPT 8 

Anglo American is expanding its operations into the trading arena, a company executive told FastMarkets this week.

Base metals apart from aluminium and zinc ended Thursday LME trading in positive territory - market participants are now awaiting a fresh bout of Chinese data tomorrow for more direction.

Alexander Nizan, director of metals at Noble Group, is leaving the firm after 14 years, FastMarkets understands.

The forward curve of the CME Group’s aluminium MW US Transaction Premium (AUP) contract moved into a wider contango on Wednesday after participants downgraded their expectations for September and October.

Talk that Indonesia might ease its export ban on unprocessed ore have been revived, with state-owned miner PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) eyeing the resumption of nickel ore exports to take back market share from the Philippines.

The US and China have agreed to work together to address the global electrolytic aluminium excess capacity, according a statement from the White House following talks at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China.

China’s imports of unwrought copper and copper products fell 2.8 percent month-on-month to 350,000 tonnes in August, according to preliminary data published by the country’s General Administration of Customs on Thursday.

WEDNEDAY, SEPT 7

London Metal Exchange (LME) volumes fell again in August as business was likely negatively impacted by the temporarily relocation of the open-outcry ring to the disaster recovery site in Chelmsford.

South32 and Rio Tinto Alcan have made their respective initial offers for fourth-quarter ingot supply to major Japanese ports (MJP) at $80-82 but buyers insist that they want closer to $70.

The September LME traded options declarations, which took place late morning on Wednesday, were relatively routine, given recent price activity, and there was little immediate post-expiry market impact.

Market participants expect very little impact on metal supply and flows from the financial collapse of South Korea’s largest shipping giant, Hanjin.

LME tin spreads flared-out to a $250 backwardation on Tuesday as a scarcity of available warrants – now at just 2,705 tonnes – lead to extreme spread volatility.

The US aluminium industry has endured a rough summer and it will take more than improved London Metal Exchange spreads to lift physical premiums.

Aluminium net shipments by domestic US and Canadian facilities totaled an estimated 1.752 billion pounds or 794,701 tonnes during July, down 5.8 percent year-on-year.

Shanghai bonded copper stocks hit a four-month low at the end of August while nickel and zinc stocks continued to climb and aluminium stocks were unchanged.

Aluminium has come under pressure this week on the SHFE, trading below 12,000 yuan for the first time since June amid rising domestic inventories.

Jinchuan Group kept its nickel production above 11,000 tonnes but below 12,000 tonnes again in September – a level it has maintained for several months due to unattractive prices and tight ore supply.

China’s Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco) has started construction of a 400,000-tonnes-per-year copper smelter in Ningde in southern Fujian province.

TUESDAY, SEPT 6 

London Metal Exchange (LME) volumes fell again in August as business was likely negatively impacted by the temporarily relocation of the open-outcry ring to the disaster recovery site in Chelmsford.

South32 and Rio Tinto Alcan have made their respective initial offers for fourth-quarter ingot supply to major Japanese ports (MJP) at $80-82 but buyers insist that they want closer to $70.

The September LME traded options declarations, which took place late morning on Wednesday, were relatively routine, given recent price activity, and there was little immediate post-expiry market impact.

Market participants expect very little impact on metal supply and flows from the financial collapse of South Korea’s largest shipping giant, Hanjin.

LME tin spreads flared-out to a $250 backwardation on Tuesday as a scarcity of available warrants – now at just 2,705 tonnes – lead to extreme spread volatility.

The US aluminium industry has endured a rough summer and it will take more than improved London Metal Exchange spreads to lift physical premiums.

Aluminium net shipments by domestic US and Canadian facilities totaled an estimated 1.752 billion pounds or 794,701 tonnes during July, down 5.8 percent year-on-year.

Shanghai bonded copper stocks hit a four-month low at the end of August while nickel and zinc stocks continued to climb and aluminium stocks were unchanged.

Aluminium has come under pressure this week on the SHFE, trading below 12,000 yuan for the first time since June amid rising domestic inventories.

Jinchuan Group kept its nickel production above 11,000 tonnes but below 12,000 tonnes again in September – a level it has maintained for several months due to unattractive prices and tight ore supply.

China’s Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco) has started construction of a 400,000-tonnes-per-year copper smelter in Ningde in southern Fujian province.

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.