Once again a reasonably steady week on the metal markets with only slight fluctuations being reported.

Although all of our major metal indices (Copper, Aluminium, Lead & Nickel) are currently trading lower than the open of the month, in Australian Dollar terms this is being buffered by the slightly lower exchange rate which opened the month around 1.07, however is now trading just above the 1.05 mark.

Buyers in the physical market continue to remain cautious particularly in China. If the Chinese feel that the LME is too high, they quite simply stop following it, therefore widening the gap between the financial and physical market.

Please find the following article for your perusal;

**** DJ BASE METALS: LME Metals Mixed; Tracking Currency, Equity Markets **** By Francesca Freeman Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Base metals are mixed on the London Metal Exchange Monday, consolidating following the previous week’s declines and pressured somewhat by a stronger dollar. At 1022 GMT, LME three-month copper was just 0.2% higher on the day at $8,399.75 a metric ton, while aluminium was unchanged at $2,174/ton. Copper shed 1.5% in value last week amid broad-based risk aversion.

Market conditions on the LME are quiet Monday, with investors looking to the currency and equity markets for direction, said a senior market participant. U.S. data due later “could generate some interest,” he said, but prices are likely to remain rangebound throughout the session.

Demand for physical copper may prove lacking in the coming months, despite strong Chinese refined copper imports in February, said Ground. Refined copper imports in February rose to their third-highest monthly volume on record, more than doubling on year, to 375,831 metric tons. Imports were 12% higher than in January.

The current rate [of Chinese imports] looks far from sustainable and, given how similar levels of bonded stock levels were drawn down in 2011, it implies a sharp deterioration in Chinese refined imports over the coming months,” he said. As such, demand for copper is unlikely to prove strong enough to see copper trade sustainably above $9,000/ton for most of this year, said Ground.

****  Dubai Aluminium profits jump 65 pct in 2011 **** (Aluminium production remains profitable in countries with cheap energy)

DUBAI, March 21 (Reuters) – Dubai Aluminium Corp (Dubal) saw net profits jump 65 percent year on year to a record 3.52 billion dirham ($953 million) in 2011, the government-owned smelter said on Wednesday. Dubal’s record profits were thanks largely to a 28.5 percent year on year increase in gross sales to 11.14 billion ($3.03 billion), making it one of the most profitable Dubai government businesses


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