NON-FERROUS WEEK IN BRIEF: Nickel premiums; copper outlook; Grasberg license; Hernic tailings dam collapse; vanadium outlook; manganese flake prices

Date: Jan 08, 2018

Metal Bulletin rounds up some of the key news and price moves across the global metal markets this week.

Base metals
Two trading companies have accepted Nornickel’s $300 per tonne nickel premiumfor 2018, while the majority of Nornickel’s long-term contract premium negotiations cif China are still in the air.

Striking workers at Empresa Nacional de Mineria’s (Enami’s) copper smelter in Chile are expected to vote on a new contract offer from the company this week, Metal Bulletin understands.

Copper could soar higher on strike action in 2018, but Alice Mason looks at whether this year lead will finally outshine zinc.

Also in copper news, copper bulls may have set the metal’s prices up for a fall in 2018 after a staggering December rally saw prices reach four-year highs, market analyst told Metal Bulletin.

And Indonesia’s government has extended Freeport-McMoRan’s special mining license (IUPK) for the Grasberg copper mine to June 30, sources told Metal Bulletin on Wednesday.

Kaz Minerals will invest $1.2 billion in expanding its Aktogay copper processing facility to bring an extra 80,000 tonnes of copper capacity to the market by 2022.

In other news, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has agreed to an arrangement between the London Metal Exchange and ICE Futures Europe, which means they will not be required to consider open access requests for over two years.

The prospects for aluminium in 2018 appear tied to global trade concerns – particularly protectionist rhetoric coming from the United States as well as the future of supply cuts by Chinese smelters.

See our Aluminium Arbitrage Indicator for January 2017 here.

China is expected to increase its imports of zinc concentrates this year amid rising supply and idle domestic smelting capacity, Metal Bulletin has learned.

Finally, 2017 was a strong year for base metals on the London Metal Exchange with zinc, copper and aluminium all setting multi-year highs.