Aluminum LME Inventory Nears 4-Year Low

Aluminum rose on speculation that China will further stimulate the economy of the world’s biggest metals consumer and inventories fell to near a 4-year low.

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Aluminum gained as much as 0.6% after closing at the lowest in 8 weeks on Dec. 12. A private manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for China is forecast to slip below the 50 threshold that signals expansion for the first time in seven months, according to a Bloomberg News survey before the data tomorrow. Aluminum inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange dropped to 4.29 million tons on Dec. 12, the lowest since January 2011, according to bourse data.

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The day’s biggest mover was Chinese aluminum bar, dropping 6.5% to settle at CNY 13,360 ($2,162) per metric ton on Monday, December 15. After two flat days, the price of Chinese aluminum billet inched up 0.7% on Monday to CNY 13,700 ($2,217). The Chinese aluminum cash price gained 0.4% to finish at CNY 13,350 ($2,160) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 12,800 ($2,071) per metric ton.

On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum fell 0.9% to $1,918 per metric ton. On the LME, the aluminum 3-month price declined 0.7% to $1,940 per metric ton. The Indian aluminum cash price fell 0.1% to INR 121.90 ($1.95) per kilogram yesterday after two days of no change.

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