Producers Are Holding the Aluminum Capacity Line

Non-Chinese aluminum production was unchanged in January, according to the latest figures from the International Aluminum Institute (IAI).

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Producers are still holding aluminum capacity line in terms of keeping smelters offline in the face of low prices and historical stocks overhang, Reuters’ Andy Home wrote.

Their continued discipline is a subject of much market conjecture, Home said.

A combination of lower London Metal Exchange (LME) basis price and softer physical premiums, particularly in Europe, has seen the all-in price slide back to just above $2,100 per tonne from over $2,450 as recently as November.

On Wednesday, February 25, the cash price of primary aluminum experienced the biggest change, rising 1.1% on the LME to $1,792 per metric ton. On the LME, the aluminum 3-month price gained 0.9% to finish at $1,809 per metric ton. Following a two-day drop, the Indian aluminum cash price increased by 0.7% to INR 111.70 ($1.80) per kilogram.

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Chinese aluminum prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 12,500 ($2,001) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum billet held flat at CNY 12,940 ($2,071) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar held steady at CNY 13,700 ($2,193) per metric ton. The Chinese aluminum cash price was unchanged at CNY 12,910 ($2,066) per metric ton.

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