Aluminum Traders Hold Offers Firm, Prices of Praseodymium and Neodymium Products Show Signs of Recovery
SHANGHAI, Mar. 12 (SMM) – Nonferrous metal prices extended losses for three straight weeks following the Chinese New Year holiday, but declines narrowed.
China announced a draft of economic indicators last weekend. CPI grew more than expected to 3.2% in February, highlighting growing inflationary pressure. PPI in February was unchanged MoM, but fell 1.6% YoY. Industrial value added at large enterprises grew 9.9% during the first two months, 0.4 percentage point lower compared with late last year, a sign of slowing industrial production in China.
In spot aluminum markets, news that the State Reserve Bureau will buy aluminum ingot allowed most traders to hold offers firm at RMB 14,540/mt. Prices for some deliverable brand aluminum ingot were higher at above RMB 14,600/mt. Downstream consumption was sluggish, with only middlemen purchasing modest amounts, leaving overall trading light.
Rare earth prices held stable for a fourth straight day, but trading volumes remained thin. Cargo holders mostly refrained from selling. Sales volume of praseodymium and neodymium products and gadolinium were higher, with prices rebounding as well.
Spot copper premiums in Shanghai grew from RMB 20/mt to RMB 120/mt. Some traders held back goods against low prices, tightening spot copper supply. However, downstream producers showed low-acceptance towards high premium.
Shanghai spot zinc market saw little improvement in trading activity.