The International Aluminum Institute (IAI) has stopped reporting global inventory stocks, in another blow to transparency for a metal whose price, critics say, has been skewed by big banks and trading houses.
In a statement, the IAI said the aluminum stocks numbers it receives from global smelters had become incomplete to the point where it would be misleading to carry on reporting them.
“(We) understand that many analysts … have used the IAI inventory reports as part of their information-gathering process, however, we do not consider the data … is now adequately reflecting a true picture of global producer stocks,” said the IAI.
Problems began in the second half of last year when 35 smelters, or up to a third of smelters currently reporting stocks figures to the IAI, either stopped reporting or had difficulties reporting on a monthly basis.
Weakening prices changed direction when the Indian aluminum cash price rose 2.7% on Monday, February 2 to INR 115.30 ($1.86) per kilogram. On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum rose 0.8% to $1,837 per metric ton. On the LME, the aluminum 3-month price rose 0.8% to $1,846 per metric ton.
Chinese aluminum prices were mixed for the day. The cash price of Chinese aluminum inched up 0.3% to CNY 12,700 ($2,032) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum bar prices inched up 0.3% to CNY 12,710 ($2,034) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained steady at CNY 12,200 ($1,952) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet held steady at CNY 13,200 ($2,112) per metric ton.