Aluminum prices rose to a 16-month high as stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange slumped amid signs of accelerating economic growth in China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals.
China’s gross domestic product rose 7.5 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, topping the 7.4 percent estimate of analysts. In the US, confidence among homebuilders rose to the highest in six months. Aluminum, used in construction, autos and cans, has climbed 9.4 percent this year as LME inventories dropped to a 22-month low.
On Thursday, July 17, the aluminum 3-month price experienced the biggest change, rising 1.8 percent on the LME to $1,981 per metric ton. On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum inched up 1.8 percent to $1,962 per metric ton. The Indian aluminum cash price increased 0.3 percent to INR 119.80 ($1.99) per kilogram.
Chinese aluminum prices were flat for the day. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum scrap held flat at CNY 12,250 ($1,975) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese aluminum billet remained essentially flat at CNY 13,590 ($2,191) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar held steady at CNY 14,200 ($2,289) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese aluminum showed little movement on Thursday at CNY 13,450 ($2,168) per metric ton.