Aluminum and zinc rose in London this morning as a jump in home building fueled speculation that demand will accelerate in the US, the world’s second-biggest consumer of industrial metals.
Housing starts surged in July to the highest in eight months, US government data showed today. Yesterday, a private report showed confidence among home builders rose in August to the highest in seven months. Zinc goes into household products including brass plumbing fixtures, while aluminum is used in window frames, siding, curtainwall and other building components.
The day’s biggest mover yesterday was the Indian aluminum cash price which dropped by 1.8 percent on Monday, August 18 to close at INR 121.80 ($2.00) per kilogram. On the LME, the aluminum 3-month price fell 1.6 percent to $1,989 per metric ton. The primary aluminum cash price fell 1.3 percent on the LME to $1,979 per metric ton, marking the fifth in a row of declining prices. The drop-off has accelerated since Tuesday, August 12.
Chinese aluminum prices closed flat for the day. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum scrap held flat at CNY 12,250 ($1,992) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet was unchanged at CNY 13,590 ($2,210) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 14,200 ($2,309) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the Chinese aluminum cash price remained essentially flat at CNY 13,960 ($2,270) per metric ton.