Premiums in South Korea, Taiwan and the United States inched higher this week, while premiums in other regions were firm with outlooks mostly positive heading into 2018. Premiums in South Korea and Taiwan edged higher following the settlement of first quarter main Japanese ports (MJP) premiums Benchmark European premiums steady, with support seen from strong demand, favorable spreads and tighter supply in 2018 The US Midwest premium ticked slightly higher as concerns remain over possible primary aluminium import tariffs Brazil’s premiums were unchanged amid quiet year-end trading Asian premiums mostly stable, except in South Korea and Taiwan The spot cif MJP aluminium premium in Japan was unchanged at $90-105 per tonne on Tuesday December 19 amid quiet spot trading during end of the year. The benchmark first-quarter 2018 MJP aluminium premium settled at $103 per tonne with more than 35,000 tonnes of deals reported to Metal Bulletin, which represents an increase of 9% from the fourth quarter premium of $94-95 per tonne. Market participants in Asia remained positive on the outlook for aluminium spot premiums in the region heading into 2018