(MB) Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly drifting lower during Asian morning trading on Monday, with lead the only metal to register any gains. An escalation in the trade spat between China and the United States shook sentiment in the base metals market, with reports late last week that US President Donald Trump is planning to implement fresh tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week. The US secondary aluminium alloy market’s benchmark A380.1 price has fallen to its lowest point since September 2017, but alloy producers have continued to resist pressure to discount offers, capitalizing on record-wide spreads between aluminium scrap and alloy prices.  The US Midwest aluminium premium has tightened slightly, with market participants saying the spot market is dormant ahead of the September contract season.  The SHFE has received the greenlight to start trading the long-awaited copper options on September 21, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said on Friday August 31.  The Chinese ferro-chrome market softened last week in line with lower September tenders from leading domestic stainless steel mills. Lithium carbonate prices slid again last week amid ample supply.

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