Aluminum reached a three-week high on the LME early today on speculation that supply of the lightweight metal will run short of demand.
The aluminum market will be in deficit this year by 1.3 million metric tons, leading global producer United Co. Rusal said today, Bloomberg News reported. China’s imports of bauxite, used to make the metal, dropped 14 percent in April, customs data showed this week. There were no shipments from Indonesia, China’s main supplier in 2013, as the nation banned raw-ore exports in January of this year.
Dropping 0.5 percent on the LME, the aluminum 3-month price was the biggest mover on Thursday, May 22, closing at $1,756 per metric ton. On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum declined 0.4 percent yesterday to $1,714 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian aluminum increased 0.1 percent to INR 103.70 ($1.77) per kilogram.
Chinese aluminum closed mixed on Thursday. After two flat days, the Chinese aluminum cash price inched up 0.2 percent yesterday to CNY 13,030 ($2,090). For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 12,250 ($1,965) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet held steady at CNY 13,590 ($2,180) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar remained essentially flat at CNY 14,200 ($2,277) per metric ton.