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WEEK-IN-BRIEF: MMG buys Las Bambas; steel vs aluminium; Ni, FeMo prices soar; and much more
April 17, 2014 - 15:50 GMT
Following another busy week in the newsroom, Metal Bulletin's deputy editor Fleur Ritzema takes a look back at some of the key stories.
In a $5.85 billion deal, MMG, China Minmetals’
international arm, agreed to buy Glencore’s Las
Bambas project in Peru.
Ceo Andrew Michelmore identified risks
that may affect the cost and schedule of putting Las Bambas
But risks aside, the 30-35% copper content expected in Las
Bambas concentrates could make them a premium material for
smelters and traders dealing in an increasingly complex concentrates market,
Metal Bulletin’s Mark Burton wrote this week.
The news of the purchase followed last week’s
annual copper industry CESCO week, held in Chile. Check out this video for market outlook from
It was also revealed this week that Trafigura is set to build new copper and zinc
concentrates blending facilities in Huelva, Spain, as part
of a major planned development of the port.
And in other news, the debate over whether to use steel or
aluminium in the automotive market intensified.
Metal Bulletin’s Jethro Wookey and Steel First's
Alexandra Chapman introduced the discussion in this video.
Which way do you think it will go? Join us on Twitter and share
your view #SteelvsAl
It was another week of surging prices for nickel and
LME nickel continued its export-ban fuelled rally, surpassing
yet another milestone by going through $18,000.
Amid rising costs in the nickel supply chain caused by
Indonesia’s ore export ban, Goldman Sachs raised its nickel forecasts by
as much as 33%.
Chinese nickel pig iron prices continued to
soar. Steel mills were left with no choice but to increase
their purchase prices amid high offers from smelters and
limited supply, sources said.
And while prices have surged, a preferential duty status on
Ambatovy’s nickel briquette sales into Japan has
enabled the producer to increase its sales
in the country, Janie Davies revealed. This has tightened
availability in Europe and created opportunities for other
Ferro-molybdenum prices continued their
meteoric rise in Europe this week, Claire Hack explained,
as demand from the stainless steel industry remained strong and
And in the US, a court found that the section of the Dodd-Frank
act requiring companies to report to the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) on their use of conflict minerals "violates the First Amendment" of the US
In the minor metals markets, attention was firmly on Ukraine.
Chromium suppliers have been unable to secure insurance or financing
for material delivered to Ukraine, Metal
Bulletin’s Chloe Smith revealed.
The UK High Court, meanwhile, this week refused a request by the London Metal Exchange
to appeal the recent judgment against the exchange in the
case brought by UC Rusal.
Next week is LME Week Asia in Hong Kong, and Metal
Bulletin editor Alex Harrison set the scene. Click here for his nine big questions for LME
week Asia 2014.
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