March 28, 2019 / 7:39 AM / a year ago

METALS-Most base metals steady in tight trade ahead of U.S.-China trade talks

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    By Tom Daly
    BEIJING, March 28 (Reuters) - Most industrial metals prices
held steady on Thursday as investors awaited news from
U.S.-China trade talks restarting in Beijing, while supply
disruption in copper offset fears of a recession in the United
    China and the United States have made progress in all areas
under discussion in trade talks, with unprecedented movement on
the touchy issue of forced technology transfers, but sticking
points remain, U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

    "Concerns of weaker economic growth are likely to keep
downward pressure on commodities for the time being," ANZ wrote
in a note, adding that base metals were nonetheless being
supported by supply-side issues and low inventories.
    Zinc stocks in London Metal Exchange warehouses MZN-STX
fell by another 1,200 tonnes on Wednesday to just 55,225 tonnes,
the lowest since 1991, while the "disruption to copper supplies
from Las Bambas lingers," ANZ said, referring to the mine in
Peru where MMG expects to declare force majeure.   
    * COPPER: Three-month LME copper were up 0.2 percent
to $6,345.5 a tonne as of 0714 GMT, while the most-traded May
copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was
almost unchanged at 48,360 yuan ($7,187.66) a tonne.
    * MMG LAS BAMBAS: Tension extended at Chinese miner MMG
Ltd's Las Bambas mine in Peru as indigenous protesters
on Wednesday hurled rocks at the helicopter of a government
negotiating team who was sent to with finding a peaceful end to
a 51-day road blockade that has choked off access to the
    * ZINC SPREAD: The premium of cash LME zinc over the
three-month contract CMZN0-3 rose to $56 a tonne on Wednesday,
the highest since Jan. 7, as LME zinc stock decline further to
55,225 tonnes the lowest level since 2007, latest data showed.
    * PRICES: Shanghai zinc ended up 1.2 percent at
22,570 yuan a tonne, while London zinc dipped 0.1
percent. London nickel, aluminium and tin
 all fell.
    * TC/RCs: The 10-member China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT)
is meeting in Shanghai to determine floor treatment and refining
charges (TC/RCs) for copper concentrate in the second quarter.
    * COPPER: CSPT member Jiangxi Copper Co,
 said on Wednesday 2018 net profit rose 52.4 percent
year on year as a hedging gain boosted its bottom line.

    * SCRAP: China aims to cut solid waste imports to zero by
next year as it looks to reduce pollution and encourage
recyclers to treat soaring volumes of domestic trash, a senior
environment ministry official said.
    * NICKEL: Indonesia's nickel-related industries such as the
production of stainless steel and battery materials are set to
surpass the value of its second-biggest export earner, palm oil,
in the next 10 to 15 years, its investment board chief said on
 BASE METALS PRICES                        0522 GMT
 Three month LME copper                        6332
 Most active ShFE copper                      48400
 Three month LME aluminium                     1902
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   13680
 Three month LME zinc                          2880
 Most active ShFE zinc                        22540
 Three month LME lead                        2019.5
 Most active ShFE lead                        16780
 Three month LME nickel                       13010
 Most active ShFE nickel                     100680
 Three month LME tin                          21210
 Most active ShFE tin                        145780
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER               LMESHFCUc3   -947.46
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM            LMESHFALc3  -1121.35
 LME/SHFE ZINC                 LMESHFZNc3   -598.46
 LME/SHFE LEAD                 LMESHFPBc3    540.24
 LME/SHFE NICKEL               LMESHFNIc3  -3224.48

($1 = 6.7282 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen;
editing by Richard Pullin, Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)
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