ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 15/06: Nickel leads decline in LME base metals prices; lead-zinc tie may be rekindled as price gap narrows; China's electrolytic aluminium output rises in May

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Friday June 15.

Nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange recorded the largest losses of the day at the close of trading on Thursday June 14, leading the complex lower amid sharp drops in lead, copper and zinc prices. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how prices looked at the close of trading:

A gap between three-month zinc and lead prices on the LME could become narrower in the coming weeks, rekindling a historical relationship between the two prices.

Chinese electrolytic aluminium production reached 2.79 million tonnes in May, up 1.5% from the same month last year, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

European molybdenum oxide and alloy prices have dropped due to relatively low buying interest.

European germanium prices have also fallen this week due to a surplus material from China being available, combined with low demand from end-users.

Commodities trading house Trafigura reported a 53% decline in its net profit for the first half of fiscal 2018 despite a 'strong performance' from its metals and minerals trading division.

Meanwhile, Metalloinvest - a major global supplier of iron ore, pig iron and hot-briquetted iron - announced a 28.1% year-on-year increase in its first-quarter earnings due to growth in global prices and increased proportion of high-value-added products in the company's mix.

The expected preliminary decision in the current European safeguard case into steel imports is believed to result in higher domestic prices, market sources told Metal Bulletin this week.

Fines totaling more than €140 million ($164.70 million) against several Italian rebar and electrowelded mesh producers, imposed by the country's national competition authority, have been canceled by an Italian regional administrative court.

Kirk Maltais


Kirk Maltais

June 15, 2018

00:05 GMT

New York