Prices in Southeast Asia’s steel billet market have tumbled
last week amid speculation that Chinese billet importers could annul contracts on the grounds of virus-related force majeure.
China has halved tariffs on a slew of US-sourced metals
and minerals including copper cathodes and rare earths.
Nickel and cobalt producer Ramu NiCo, owned by state-owned Metallurgical Corporation of China, has been sued for $5.4 billion for environmental failures
, the latest in a long line of environmental woes to befall the Papua New Guinea operation.
Zinc’s benchmark cash/three-month spread on the London Metal Exchange has moved into contango for the first time in five months
after the largest inflow since last April brought on-warrant material to more than 50,000 tonnes.
The coronavirus outbreak in China has severely disrupted logistics
in the country, creating a shortage of available truck drivers and rail freight cars, with transport between provinces severely disrupted.