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Zinc, copper prices jump as LME restricts Russia’s UMMC deliveries

Zinc and copper prices rose on Thursday after the London Metal Exchange imposed conditions on new metal deliveries from Russia’s Ural Mining & Metallurgical Co and a subsidiary.

Other metals were also firmer, supported by hopes of improved demand from top consumer China as it ramps up support for its COVID-19-hit economy and speculations grew that Beijing may soon ease coronavirus restrictions.

Three-month LME zinc CMZN3 climbed up to 4.9% to $3,193 a tonne, its highest since Sept. 20. It was up 3.7% at $3,156.50 by 0631 GMT.

“Glencore was a factor plus the LME announcement it had curbed deliveries of metals from Ural,” said Robert Rennie, head of research at Westpac.

Miner and trader Glencore GLEN.L will place its Nordenham zinc smelter in Germany on care and maintenance from Nov. 1, it said in a memo.

The LME has restricted new copper and zinc deliveries from Ural and its subsidiary, Chelyabinsk Zinc, following Britain’s sanctioning of its controlling shareholder, Iskander Makhmudov.

The LME said metals from UMMC and Chelyabinsk could only be delivered to LME warehouses if the owner could prove to the exchange that it did not constitute a breach of sanctions.

Copper CMCU3 was up 2.1% at $7,838.50 a tonne, after hitting its highest since Sept. 19 at $7,858 earlier in the session.

China’s demand for commodity shipments is expected to improve in the fourth quarter as investments in infrastructure projects and steel production pick up pace, senior shipping executives said.

Aluminium CMAL3 gained 1.9% to $2,397.50 a tonne, lead CMPB3 rose 1.8% to $2,074, and tin CMSN3 climbed 0.7% to $20,435.

Trading volumes remained thin though with Chinese traders away for week-long holidays.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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