January 17, 2018 / 5:21 AM / a year ago

METALS-Shanghai aluminium prices slip as ingot flows improve

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    BEIJING, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices fell
1.8 percent on Wednesday, declining for a second straight
session as improving weather conditions smoothed the flow of
ingots from China's remote northwestern Xinjiang region to the
east of the country.
    Heavy snowfall in Xinjiang, a key aluminium smelting region,
had disrupted transportation this month, leaving ingots stuck in
transit. "Even so, the inventory on the market is still
growing," said Xu Maili, director of non-ferrous metal reserarch
at Everbright Futures in Shanghai. 
    Shanghai aluminium prices are already down 3.9 percent year
-to-date, with deliverable Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE)
aluminium stocks at a record 773,941 tonnes, as of Jan. 12.
    "As the weather is okay now, transport will get better and
people expect to see more ingot deliveries to warehouses," said
CRU analyst Jackie Wang.
    * SHANGHAI ALUMINIUM: The most-traded March contract
 on the ShFE closed down 1.8 pct at 14,630 yuan 
($2,275) a tonne, its lowest finish since Dec. 19.
    * LONDON ALUMINIUM: Aluminium on the London Metal Exchange
(LME) slipped 0.1 percent to $2,187 per tonne at 0809
GMT, shedding the modest gains it had posted since Tuesday's
    * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded ShFE copper contract
slumped 1.9 percent down to 53,580 yuan a tonne, its lowest
close since Dec. 15, as traders locked in profits ahead of Lunar
New Year.
    * POSITIONS: Futures brokerage Gelin Dahua has cut its long
position on the ShFE April copper contract by 75 percent
over the past two days, according to Reuters calculations based
on ShFE data.   
    * LONDON COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange slipped 0.2 percent to $7,067 a tonne,
extending the 1.8 percent loss from the previous session as the
dollar stregthened. 
    * NICKEL: Shanghai nickel closed down 2.3 percent
at 96,950 yuan a tonne for a fourth consecutive session of
declines, tracking a more than 5 percent slide in London on
    * INVENTORIES: Stocks of industrial metals in LME warehouses
fell more than 40 percent last year and further declines are
expected in 2018, which should in theory signal tighter supplies
and fuel a blistering price rally.
    * AUSTRALIA: Mining group South32 Ltd's
second-quarter metallurgical coal output dropped 43 percent due
to the suspension of operations at its Appin mine in Australia
over safety concerns, the company said on Wednesday.
    * RIO TINTO: Rio Tinto Plc on Tuesday said a
U.S. regulator's lawsuit accusing the big Anglo-Australian
mining company of fraud for overstating the value of Mozambique
coal assets it had bought in 2011 should be dismissed. 

    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian stocks stepped back from a record high on Wednesday
as the region's resource shares were hit by falling oil and
commodity prices while digital currencies tumbled on worries
about tighter regulations.
    1415  U.S.     Industrial production Dec
    1500  U.S.      NAHB housing market index Jan
    1500  U.S.     Senate Banking Committee votes on nomination 
           of Jerome Powell to be chairman of the               
Federal Reserve 
 BASE METALS PRICES                        0809 GMT
 Three month LME copper                        7067
 Most active ShFE copper                      53570
 Three month LME aluminium                     2187
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   14630
 Three month LME zinc                          3397
 Most active ShFE zinc                        26055
 Three month LME lead                        2555.5
 Most active ShFE lead                        19130
 Three month LME nickel                       12495
 Most active ShFE nickel                      96940
 Three month LME tin                          20465
 Most active ShFE tin                        144730
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3      534.5
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3   -1716.09
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3        205
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3    -658.51
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3    2109.46
($1 = 6.4361 Chinese yuan renminbi)

($1 = 6.4320 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly, Editing by Joseph Radford and Sherry
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