NON-FERROUS WEEK IN BRIEF: China’s crackdown on imports of lead waste product ripples through market; copper smelting capacacities partly suspended in China regional hubs

Date: Jun 11, 2018

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

Base metals
China’s crackdown on imports of lead waste products has sent ripples through the smelting industry there, with some companies pondering capacity cuts amid one of the tightest concentrate markets in years.Primary copper smelting capacities have been partly suspended in important regional hubs in China such as Jiangxi province, sources told Metal Bulletin on Thursday June 7.

Worldwide Warehouse Solutions (WWS) has lost five London Metal Exchange-registered warehouses over the past month amid plummeting stocks and liquidity issues, Metal Bulletin has learned.

Environmental inspection-related disruptions at nickel pig iron (NPI) smelters in northern and eastern China could remove as much as 5,000 tonnes per month of downstream supply of nickel from the Chinese market, market sources told Metal Bulletin.

Copper mine development is becoming increasingly difficult due to a range of factors, according to industry participants, and during a time when more supply is needed to meet a looming deficit.

Trevor Spanner, chief information officer and group risk officer at Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX) Group, will leave his position at the end of 2018, Metal Bulletin has learned.

Following Wuxi Stainless Steel Exchange’s public consultation on adding nickel briquettes for physical delivery, many market participants have said the move would generate more liquidity and bring transparency to the nickel briquette price, if successfully approved.

The duty-free aluminium import arbitrage between the United States and Asia remains wide, with 232 tariff concerns and the sanctions on producer Rusal continuing to support the US Midwest premium.

Volumes traded on the CME’s European aluminium futures premiums contract recorded positive figures for May, attributed to participants looking to position following the US sanctions on Rusal.

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