METALS-London aluminum drops on Hydro restarts; tin sinks

(Adds comment, detail on tin; updates prices) BEIJING, Dec 30 (Reuters) - London aluminum prices fell on Monday, heading for their first drop in seven sessions after Norsk Hydro said it had resumed bauxite production in Brazil and was ramping up alumina output, while tin hit a two-week low. Bauxite is a rock refined to make alumina, which is then used to produce aluminum metal. A power outage earlier this month had affected production at Hydro's Paragominas mine and Alunorte alumina refinery, supporting aluminum prices. An acceleration in aluminum processing ahead of the week-long Lunar New year holiday in China, the world's top producer and consumer of the metal, in late January is already coming to an end, Jinrui Futures said in a note, adding that environmental curbs were also affecting downstream demand. "Consumption will gradually decline, while the trend of supply growth remains unchanged," the Chinese brokerage wrote, noting that new projects such as Henan Shenhuo's smelter in Yunnan were about to come on line.


* ALUMINIUM: Three-month aluminum on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.3% to $1,819 by 0507 GMT after closing up 0.6% on Friday. The most traded February aluminum contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange nudged up 0.1% to 14,080 yuan ($2,016.47) a tonne by the end of the morning session as ShFE stocks continue to fall.

* ALUMINIUM: Premiums for aluminum shipments to Japan for the first quarter of 2020 were set at $83 per tonne, down 14% from the previous quarter amid soft demand from electronics and auto companies, two sources directly involved in the pricing talks said.

* CHINA: China's central bank will use the loan prime rate (LPR) as a new benchmark for pricing existing floating-rate loans, in a step that analysts say could help lower borrowing costs and underpin economic growth.

* COPPER: LME copper rose 0.4% to $6,235.50 a tonne in holiday-thinned trade, while ShFE copper fell 0.3% to 49,530 yuan a tonne.

* TIN: ShFE tin prices fell as much as 3.8% in Friday's night session to 133,000 yuan a tonne, the lowest since Nov. 20, after Shanghai tin stocks rose by almost one-third, but recovered to trade down 1.5% on 136,190 yuan at the end of the morning session. LME tin slid for a fifth day, losing as much as 1.2% to $16,920 a tonne, its lowest since Dec. 12.

MARKETS A broad gauge of Asian share markets rose to their highest in 18 months as Chinese equities gained.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0600 Russia Markit Mfg Nov 0800 Spain GDP Q3 0800 Spain HICP Flash YY Dec 0800 Switzerland KOF Indicator Dec 1230* Brazil Primary Budget Surplus Nov 1445* U.S. Chicago PMI Dec 1500 U.S. Pending Home Sales Change MM Nov 1530 U.S. Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey Dec

*approximate release time







($1 = 6.9825 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)