Industrial metals fall as China’s top consumer’s COVID-19 woes weigh

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MANILA — Industrial metals were mostly down at the start of Asian trading on Monday, as COVID-19 curbs in major consumer China clouded demand prospects and added to concerns about supply disruptions and spurred profit-taking in Shanghai nickel.

Tightened quarantine measures in China, with the financial hub of Shanghai launching a two-stage lockdown of the city of 26 million on Monday, could further dampen growth prospects for the world’s second-largest economy.

The benchmark nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 15% to 213,180 yuan ($33,413.27) a tonne, after posting a record weekly gain on Friday.

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FUNDAMENTALS

* Three-month copper on the London Metals Exchange fell 1% to $10,166 a tonne, its lowest level since March 17, while the benchmark Shanghai contract fell 1% to 72,820 yuan the ton.

* U.S. automaker Tesla is suspending production at its Shanghai plant for four days, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

* Profit growth for Chinese industrial companies accelerated in January-February, in line with other signs of the economy’s dynamism, although the outlook clouded by the COVID-19 epidemics and the war in Ukraine raise concerns calls for support measures.

* The LME will double its clearing house default fund from April, which sources said was a move to mitigate rising risks of member default in the event of explosive price movements such as that observed for nickel earlier in March.

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* A Peruvian community has threatened to oppose the expansion of MMG Ltd’s main Las Bambas copper mine, according to a document seen by Reuters, hinting at a new flashpoint for the project soon after that the state has approved the increase in production.

* For top metal stories and other news, click or

MARKET NEWS

* Asian stocks stagnated and oil prices fell on Monday as Shanghai’s coronavirus lockdown looked set to hit global activity, while throwing another wrench into supply chains that could add to pressures inflationary.

DATA/EVENTS

No major data events scheduled for March 28

PRICES

Three Month LME Copper

Most active copper ShFE

Three Month LME Aluminum

Most Active ShFE Aluminum

Three-Month LME Zinc

Zinc ShFE most active

Three-month LME advance

Lead ShFE most active

Nickel LME three months

Most Active Nickel ShFE

Three Month LME Box

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS

($1 = 6.3801 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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