Chinese Factory Data, US Industrial Production Hammer Aluminum Futures

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Government data showed on Sept. 13 that China’s factory output rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier. In August, industrial production unexpectedly fell for the first time in seven months, US government data showed today, the second-biggest user of industrial metals.

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Aluminum prices headed for the longest slump in four months based on the dueling data. China’s factory data combined with figures on Sept. 13, showing moderating investment and retail sales, indicate that China may miss the government’s 2014 target for economic growth.

Aluminum for delivery in three months dropped 1.8 percent to $1,992.25 a metric ton at 4:27 p.m on the London Metal Exchange. A close at that price would mark the biggest drop since May 15. The commodity declined for the fifth straight session, the longest slump since May 1.

On Friday, September 12, the day’s biggest mover was the Indian aluminum cash price, which saw a 1.1 percent decline to INR 125.30 ($2.06) per kilogram. On the LME, the 3-month price of aluminum fell 0.5 percent to $2,040 per metric ton. On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum declined 0.5 percent to $2,002 per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap saw little movement at CNY 12,250 ($1,999) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum billet held flat at CNY 13,590 ($2,217) 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 ($2,317) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese aluminum was unchanged at CNY 13,960 ($2,278) per metric ton.

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