China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on December 21st an increase to gasoline and diesel prices of RMB 310/mt and RMB 300/mt, respectively. With soaring international commodity prices, China is also facing growing imported inflation. With a lack of significant economic news as the Christmas holiday approaches, trading volumes will turn lackluster, but base metal prices will remain high.
Copper: China's apparent consumption of refined copper was 672.1 kt in November, up 18.27% MoM, and up 11.22% YoY. YTD apparent consumption of refined copper from January to November was up 3.44% on a yearly basis. (Page 4)
Aluminum: Henan province is again facing power restrictions due to the onset of cold weather and soaring coal prices, with aluminum semis producers heavily affected. Electricity supplies to most producers were cut by 50%, forcing some producers to suspend production. However, aluminum producers that were forced to cut production previously due to power restrictions were relatively unaffected. Restarting of idled aluminum producers was stalled, but any impact on aluminum output will be limited.
Zinc: SHFE increased the number of warehouses by six to better prevent the market from being manipulated. (Page 9)
Lead: Last week, LME lead prices mainly fluctuated narrowly between USD 2,410-2,470/mt, with low-end prices rising slightly. Prices in China's domestic lead markets fell from RMB 17,000 early in the week to RMB 16,900-17,000/mt over the weekend. (Page 12)
Nickel: High grade nickel ore was in short supply. Nickel ore prices continued to rise. (Page 15)