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Shanghai zinc gains as Glencore plant maintenance plan fuels supply fears

Shanghai zinc prices jumped 4.6% on Tuesday to their highest in nearly three weeks amid global supply concerns after miner and commodity trader Glencore floated plans to put its zinc sulphide operations in Italy on hold for maintenance.

The most-traded January zinc contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 3.3% at 23,670 yuan ($3,707.42) a tonne, as of 0625 GMT, having hit its highest since Nov. 4 of 23,980 yuan a tonne.

Three-month zinc on the London Metal Exchange dipped 0.8% to $3,323 a tonne, having scaled on Monday to its highest level in more than two weeks.

Glencore said the zinc plant in Portovesme, which has a capacity of 100,000 tonnes a year, would be put on care and maintenance until there was “a meaningful change in power market prices”.

“The driving momentum is mainly from the European market because there are some potential risks for cutbacks at smelters due to the energy issue,” said CRU analyst Dina Yu in China.

However, the Chinese market fundamentals are not good, Yu said, adding supply was increasing with lower disruption from power restrictions while demand from housing and construction sectors had weakened.

The premium of LME cash zinc over the three-month contract rose to $52.80 a tonne, its highest since Oct. 29, indicating tightening nearby supplies as LME inventories of the metal fell to 175,025 tonnes, their lowest since July 2020.

FUNDAMENTALS
* ShFE copper was up 0.4% at 70,710 yuan a tonne, aluminium SNIcv1 was steady at 19,140 yuan a tonne and nickel SNIcv1 climbed 3.1% to 152,580 yuan a tonne.

* LME copper slipped 0.7% to $9,660 a tonne, aluminium CMAL3 shed 0.6% to $2,672.50 a tonne, nickel CMNI3 rose 0.2% to $20,380 a tonne and lead CMPB3 eased 0.3% to $2,252 a tonne.

* The global world refined copper market showed a 52,000 tonnes surplus in August, compared with a 39,000 tonnes deficit in July, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said.

* Some Chinese banks have been told by financial regulators to issue more loans to property firms for project development, two banking sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Monday.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)

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