LIVE FUTURES REPORT 26/01: Tin breaches $22,700/t; zinc falls almost 1%

The London Metal Exchange tin price continued to climb during morning trading on Tuesday January 26, while the rest of the base metals had a more mixed start to the day given a steady US Dollar Index and possible delays to the United States’ $1.9 trillion Covid-19 economic stimulus package.

Tin’s three-month price reached a new year-to-date high of $22,730 per tonne during early trading on Tuesday, the highest since August 2014.

The metal’s forward price relented slightly to $22,660 per tonne as at 9am London time, but was still 0.9% higher than Monday’s 5pm close of $22,450 per tonne.

Tin stocks at LME warehouses continued to decline, dropping by 27.7% to 1,030 tonnes on Tuesday from 1,425 tonnes a week earlier.

The gains in tin come despite a firm US Dollar Index, which was at 90.62 during early trading on Tuesday, up from 90.52 the day before.

“US equity index futures pointed lower after [US] Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said a rescue package might be available first mid-March and Asian stocks slipped lower,” Anna Stablum, LME Desk analyst at Marex Spectron, said. “A firm US dollar, with the Dollar Index touching a one-week high yesterday, also dampened metals prices.”

Zinc’s three-month price came under pressure from the firm dollar this morning, falling by 0.9% to $2,680 per tonne as at 9am from Monday’s closing price of $2,705.50 per tonne. The galvanizing metal’s highest closing price last week was of $2,728 per tonne, reached on January 20 at 5pm.

There was a 46,300-tonne delivery of zinc into LME warehouses in the US on Tuesday, 38,625 tonnes of which was delivered to New Orleans, and the remaining 7,675 tonnes to Baltimore.

“Somewhat unexpectedly, the Chinese central bank withdrew liquidity from the financial system last night, in response to growing risks in the financial system, one advisor even talking about the risks of bubbles, for example in the property sector,” Commerzbank’s precious and industrial metals analyst Daniel Briesmann said in a morning note.

“The central bank’s action led to increased risk aversion among market participants, as reflected in weak Asian stock markets. It is also putting the brakes on most base metals initially this morning,” he added.

Conversely, zinc’s sister metal lead edged higher on Tuesday morning, up by $7 per tonne to $2,054 per tonne as at 9am. Lead has been on an upward trend since mid-January, holding above the $2,000-per-tonne mark for the entirety of last week.

Other highlights
  • Copper was $30 per tonne lower as at 9am this morning, with a three-month price of $7,939 per tonne. The red metal was down by 0.35% to $7,969 per tonne on Monday at 5pm, too.
  • Economic data out later today includes US readings on house prices, consumer confidence and Richmond manufacturing index.
  • Janet Yellen was confirmed by the US Senate on Monday as the first female secretary of the Treasury Department.

Ana de Liz

ana.de.liz@fastmarkets.com

Published

Ana de Liz

January 26, 2021

10:26 GMT

London