LME Aluminum Inventories Still Crazy-High; 3-Month Price Drops

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Although LME stocks of aluminum have been dropping the past month or so, they are still at record highs, as LME prices remain under the $1,800 per ton threshold.

Inventories of aluminum in LME warehouses are at about 5,350,000 tons worldwide, down from a high of nearly 5,500,000 tons in mid-summer 2013, according to the latest figures compiled by the Copper Journal. Of course, the pressure that aluminum producers such as Alcoa and Novelis and end-users such as MillerCoors have been putting on the LME for transparency may have a bit more to do with dropping stocks than actual demand for the metal.

In fact, many aluminum buyers no longer buy straight from the LME anymore.

On MetalMiner’s daily aluminum price index, the 3-month price of aluminum saw the biggest decline of the day, dropping 0.7 percent on the LME to close at $1,792 per metric ton on Friday, September 13. The cash price of primary aluminum weakened by 0.6 percent on the LME, settling at $1,745 per metric ton.

Following a 0.2 percent rise last Friday, the cash price of primary Indian aluminum closed higher.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Chinese aluminum prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum billet increased 0.3 percent. The cash price of Chinese aluminum gained 0.2 percent. Chinese aluminum scrap held its value last Friday. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum bar held flat.

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