May 29, 2018 / 5:58 AM / 22 days ago

METALS-Copper traders eye Indian smelter shutdown

 (Adds broker comment; updates prices)
    BEIJING/MELBOURNE May 29 (Reuters) - Copper traders eyed the
shutdown of an Indian copper smelter on Tuesday that could cut
supply from the market, while China steel-linked metals followed
rebar higher amid a pick-up in seasonal demand.
    Copper was likely to find some price support after an Indian
state on Monday ordered the permanent closure of a copper
smelter controlled by London-listed Vedanta Resources
following the deaths of 13 protesters last week. 
   "That's not minor to the market, if it is a shutdown that
persists," said analyst Vivek Dhar of Commonwealth Bank of
Australia. 
    "I am surprised it hasn't resulted in more of an impact. It
could be the result of the holidays, and we may see it later
this week." 
    In Shanghai, nickel, used in stainless steel, rose 2.8
percent to the highest in three years, while galvanising metal
zinc rallied 1.5 percent, spurring gains in London, which
returned from a long holiday weekend.  
   The price of rebar has risen 15 percent from late March,
buoyed by a seasonal recovery in China's construction activity
that pushed mills to ramp up output after winter production
curbs aimed at fighting smog were lifted in mid-March.
     
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * COPPER: London copper jumped 0.6 percent to
$6,927. Shanghai copper edged up 0.5 percent.
    * NICKEL: Shanghai Futures Exchange nickel ended up
2.8 percent at 112,800 yuan ($17,592) a tonne, having struck its
highest since May 2015. Shanghai nickel is up by around 7.9
percent so far this month. London Metal Exchange nickel
was up 1.6 percent at $15,015 a tonne, as of 0732 GMT.
    * TIN: Shfe tin surged by 3.7 percent on concerns
that shipments from China's top supplier Myanmar were falling. 
    * SHFE: Major state copper and aluminium producers were
among the companies that traded almost half a billion yuan of
metal on the ShFE's new physical trading platform on its debut
on Monday, the exchange said.
    * ALUMINIUM: China's state-owned Chinalco is set to close
the gap on privately run China Hongqiao Group, the
world's top aluminium producer, after sealing a deal with the
Yunnan government that gives it access to more smelting
capacity.
    * LITHIUM: Australian lithium miner Galaxy Resources Ltd
 agreed on Tuesday to sell a package of mining tenements
in Argentina to South Korean steelmaker POSCO for
$280 million.
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    PRICES            
 BASE METALS PRICES               at 0738 GMT           
 Three month LME copper                             6923
 Most active ShFE copper                           51700
 Three month LME aluminium                        2267.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                        14725
 Three month LME zinc                               3099
 Most active ShFE zinc                             24110
 Three month LME lead                             2460.5
 Most active ShFE lead                             20065
 Three month LME nickel                            14995
 Most active ShFE nickel                          112860
 Three month LME tin                               20765
 Most active ShFE tin                             154710
                                                        
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                  
 LME/SHFE COPPER                LMESHFCUc3        -74.98
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM             LMESHFALc3      -2169.31
 LME/SHFE ZINC                  LMESHFZNc3        413.77
 LME/SHFE LEAD                  LMESHFPBc3        604.57
 LME/SHFE NICKEL                LMESHFNIc3      -2025.78
 
($1 = 6.4119 Chinese yuan)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly in BEIJING and Melanie Burton in
MELBOURNE; Editing by Richard Pullin and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
 
 
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