Most base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange continued to rise during early Asian trading on Friday after the dollar fell following some disappointing economic data from the United States that stoked concerns of a weakening economy. The benchmark in-warehouse Rotterdam aluminium premium fell to its lowest since January 2010 on Thursday, the day after after the US Treasury announced its intention to lift sanctions on Russian aluminium producer UC Rusal in January. Noranda Alumina began commercial operations at its Gramercy, Louisiana, alumina refinery this week after completing the final phase of its expansion project in early December, the company said on Thursday. Chinese customs officials continue to clamp down on antimony smuggling, with more material seized and more arrests made this week, Fastmarkets understands. Argentina-based lithium producer Orocobre Ltd estimates the company’s short-term contract prices in the December quarter will be $10,800 per tonne on a fob Argentina basis, 26.52% lower from $14,699 per tonne in the previous quarter. Expectations of further recovery in Brazilian aluminium demand are prompting investments that will increase production capacity in the country, while companies try to strengthen competition with imports.

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