LME copper gains as U.S. dollar's rise slows

Date Jan 09 2018 15:21:38 Source:Reuters

    SYDNEY, Jan 9 (Reuters) - London copper inched up in early trade on Tuesday as an advancing U.S. dollar lost steam, while Shanghai copper recovered from a drop in the previous session to trade marginally higher.

    London copper hit a two-week low overnight, weighed down by a stronger dollar, which encouraged sellers in the benchmark U.S. dollar-denominated contract.

    "We don't expect to see that same level of selling today on the currency," said a commodities trader in Perth.



    * Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 was up 0.09 percent at $7,132 a tonne by 0134 GMT, after closing almost unchanged in the previous session. Prices topped out at $7,312.50 a tonne on Dec. 28, the highest since January 2014.

    * The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 was 0.33 percent higher at 54,780 yuan ($8,423.80) a tonne. It dropped 0.9 percent on Monday.

    * CHINA RESTRICTS: As China tightens restrictions on imports of foreign waste, Chinese metal recyclers and even smelters like Jiangxi Copper Co are increasingly looking to use Southeast Asian countries as an alternative location for the processing of copper scrap. 

    QATAR: An affiliate of Qatari conglomerate Aamal Co AHCS.QA plans to build three factories to produce copper wires, aluminium bars and drums for cables, projects that could make the country more self-reliant in the face of an embargo by other Arab states.

    * ZINC BANG: Zinc has started the new year with a bang, hitting a fresh 10-year high of $3,380 per tonne in the first week of trading on the London Metal Exchange.

    * SLOW DOLLAR ADVANCE: The euro languished on Tuesday after slipping from last week's high as investors were cautious after a months-long rally, while the dollar firmed against the yen though a lack of catalysts tempered its momentum. FRX/      

    * OTHER METALS: ShFE nickel SNIcv1 was up more than 1 percent, while LME nickel CMNI3 was 0.36 percent firmer at $12,575. ShFE zinc SZNcv1 was up just over 1 percent. LME zinc CMZN3 was flat at $3,386.50, after having hit its highest since 2007 at $3,390 overnight. Concerns over dwindling stockpiles MZN-STOCKS and a market deficit were driving the gains. 


    * Asian shares edged higher on Tuesday, approaching record highs after the S&P 500 extended its winning streak, while the dollar steadied against its major counterparts. MKTS/GLOB      

Edited by SHMET

China issues stricter rules on building new steel capacity -industry ministry

Date Jan 09 2018 15:20:58 Source:Reuters

    SHANGHAI, Jan 8 (Reuters) - China has issued stricter rules on building new steel production capacity to replace obsolete facilities, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Monday.

    The move has underscored China's determination to ban growth in its massive steel sector and turned steel prices  SRBcv1  to positive from negative as investors expected China's steel capacity will continue falling this year.

    China, the world's top steel producer, will allow one tonne of new capacity to be built for a minimum of 1.25 tonnes of old capacity closed in environmentally sensitive regions, effective this year, the ministry said in a statement. 

    The statement, long-awaited by market players, offered clearer details on closing capacities to build new plants, based on the size of blast furnace, converters and other facilities to be shut down. 

    The strict standard on capacities swaps has eased market worries that China will not loosen its restrictions on building new projects, a manager with a trading firm in Hangzhou said, declining to be named as he is not authorized to speak to media.

    The most-traded rebar futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange spiked in the last trading hour, lifted by the statement, even as demand remained tepid. It rose 0.7 percent to 3,818 yuan a tonne by the close.  IRONORE/ 

    The new rules are a sign China will continue to deepen its efforts to push supply-side reform and reduce overcapacity in the sector. China is aiming to cut steel capacity by 100 million to 150 million tonnes over the 2016-2020 period, the country's State Council said in early 2016 as part of a five-year plan. 

    The new guidelines include clearer details on closing capacities to build new plants, based on the size of blast furnace, converters and other facilities to be shut down. 

    Top steelmaking provinces Hebei and Jiangsu are among the environmentally sensitive regions named in the document. 

    Steelmakers that plan to build new capacities will have to shut a certain number of existing ones first, according to the statement. Mills that have closed illegal capacities or obtained financial and policy assistance to help shut plants will not be allowed to build new ones. 

Edited by SHMET

China iron ore futures hit 4-month high as Beijing ramps up steel capacity cuts

Date Jan 09 2018 15:19:53 Source:Reuters

    BEIJING, Jan 9 (Reuters) - China's iron ore futures rose more than 3 percent on Tuesday to their highest in four months as investors reacted to moves by Beijing to tighten up on implementing steel production capacity cutbacks.

    On Monday, the world's biggest steel producer ordered mills in environmentally sensitive regions, including its steel hub Hebei, to phase out at least 1.25 tonnes of old capacity before building one tonnes of new capacity. 

    The most-traded iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange DCIOcv1 were 3.1 percent higher at 0230 GMT on Wednesday at 558 yuan a tonne, after touching a peak of 562.5 yuan a tonne, the highest level since Sept. 13.

    Meanwhile the most-active construction steel rebar futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange  SRBcv1  rebounded from three days of losses and rose 1.3 percent to 3,819 yuan ($587.45) a tonne.

    "Investors are holding positive expectation on iron ore, as they expect strong restocking demands at steel mills ahead of China's Lunar New Year," said Xu Bo, analyst at Haitong Futures.

    The Chinese New Year holiday will kick in on Feb. 15.

    Monday's move by China came only a few days after Beijing vowed to continue to "unswervingly" cut existing steel capacity and "strictly" ban the launch of any new steelmaking facilities in 2018.

    "Recent capacity control policies has shored up investors confidence over excessive steel capacity, helping to lift market prices," said analysts at Orient Futures in a note.

    Prices of steel raw materials rose alongside rebar on Tuesday, bolstered also by strong restocking demand from steel mills ahead of China's new year holiday shutdown.

    May deliver coking coal contract  DJMcv1  rose 1.4 percent to 1,381 yuan a tonne, while coke futures  DCJcv1  climbed nearly 1 percent to 2,081 yuan a tonne.


    ($1 = 6.5010 Chinese yuan renminbi) 

Edited by SHMET

Workers at Lomas Bayas mine in Chile call off strike plans

Date Jan 09 2018 15:19:19 Source:Reuters

    SANTIAGO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Unionized workers at Chile's Lomas Bayas copper mine have canceled plans to start a strike this week after accepting a contract offer from operator Glencore Plc GLEN.L, a union leader told Reuters on Monday.

    Workers approved the company's proposal for a 2 percent wage hike and a $10,750 bonus, said Pedro Valdivia, the president of the Lomas Bayas union. "Almost 90 percent of workers accepted the company's offer," he said.

    The union had threatened to go on strike on Jan. 10 if no agreement was reached.   Lomas Bayas produced 67,000 tonnes of copper between January and October of 2017.


Edited by SHMET

Iron ore exports from Australia's Port Hedland rise 11 pct in Dec - port

Date Jan 09 2018 15:18:28 Source:Reuters

    SYDNEY, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Iron ore shipments to China from Australia's Port Hedland terminal rose 11 percent to 39.1 million tonnes in December from 35.2 million in November, port data released on Tuesday showed.

    Total December iron ore shipments from the world's biggest export terminal for the steelmaking raw material totalled 46.2 million tonnes versus 41.3 million tonnes the previous month, according to the Pilbara Ports Authority.

    Port Hedland is used by three of Australia's top four iron ore miners, BHP BHP.AX, BLT.L , Fortescue Metals Group FMG.AX  and Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting.

    Rio Tinto RIO.AX, RIO.L uses the nearby Dampier and Cape Lambert ports to ship iron ore.


Edited by SHMET