LME Court Win Not Likely to Keep Aluminum in Surplus

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A courtroom victory allowing the London Metal Exchange to ease backlogs of deliveries of aluminum may do little to reduce the cost of the metal used in everything from beer cans to auto parts.

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While the court ruling in London clears the way for the LME to impose new rules at its warehouses, rising demand for aluminum and output cuts by producers including Alcoa and UC Rusal will still boost costs, according to Harbor Intelligence and BMO Capital Markets. Rusal, which plans to appeal the ruling to the UK Supreme Court, yesterday cited a “substantial deficit” in the market.

At INR 120.15 ($1.96) per kilogram, the cash price of primary Indian aluminum moved up 1.1% on Wednesday, October 15, making it the day’s biggest mover. On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum increased 0.3% to $1,909 per metric ton. On the LME, the aluminum 3-month price rose 0.2% to $1,938 per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap was unchanged at CNY 12,250 ($1,995) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum billet held flat at CNY 13,590 ($2,213) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar saw little movement at CNY 14,200 ($2,312) per metric ton. The Chinese aluminum cash price saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 13,960 ($2,273) per metric ton.

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