METALS-Shanghai aluminium marks lowest close in 14 mths ahead of smelter restarts

restarts@ (Recasts on China aluminium, updates prices) BEIJING, March 12 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices recorded their lowest close in 14 months on Monday, three days before winter output curbs on Chinese smelters are set to end and amid fallout from looming U.S. tariffs on metal imports. "Concerns over the impact of a trade war instigated by the U.S. tariffs on aluminium and steel continue to weigh on the sector," ANZ wrote in a note. Aluminium smelters in 28 northern Chinese cities were told to reduce output by at least 30 percent from Nov. 15 to March 15, although the actual volume cut was below expectations, putting pressure on prices. There may only be a limited restart from March 15 as current prices are not high enough for some smelters to break even, industry sources say, but any extra supply will hit the market at a time when Shanghai aluminium inventories are at a record high.


* SHFE ALUMINIUM: The most traded May aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended down 1 percent at 14,065 yuan ($2,223.33) a tonne, its lowest close since Jan. 10, 2017. On Friday, the metal touched a low of 14,020 yuan a tonne.

* TARIFFS: The United States opened the way for more exemptions from its steel and aluminum tariffs on Friday, after pressure from allies and intense lobbying from lawmakers, further diluting the measures just a day after they were formally announced.

* SHFE NICKEL: The most traded July nickel contract on the ShFE closed up 3.2 percent at 104,119 yuan a tonne, its biggest daily jump since Jan. 25. It had opened up 4.3 percent as it tracked Friday's surge in the LME price.

* LME NICKEL: London nickel was trading down 0.8 percent by 0721 GMT, having leapt 4.5 percent on Friday after LME data showed a 13 percent slide in on-warrant stocks.

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the LME was down 0.5 percent at $6,930 a tonne, having closed up 1.9 percent in the previous session. The most-traded May ShFE copper contract closed up 0.8 percent at 51,960 yuan a tonne.

* COPPER: Workers in the largest union at Antofagasta PLC's Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile rejected an offer for a new labour contract, paving the way for a strike, a union source told Reuters on Friday.

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* A relief rally swept across Asian share markets on Monday after the latest U.S. jobs report managed to impress with its strength while also easing fears of inflation and faster rate hikes, a neat feat that whetted risk appetites globally.


BASE METALS PRICES 0723 GMT Three month LME copper 6929 Most active ShFE copper 51960 Three month LME aluminium 2111.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 14055 Three month LME zinc 3275 Most active ShFE zinc 24980 Three month LME lead 2377 Most active ShFE lead 18440 Three month LME nickel 13750 Most active ShFE nickel 104100 Three month LME tin 21405 Most active ShFE tin 146970



($1 = 6.3261 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Vyas Mohan and Joseph Radford)