The April Aluminum MMI (Monthly Metals Index) fell three points. A weaker LME aluminum price led to the price retracement. The current Aluminum MMI index stands at 94 points, 3% lower than in March.
LME aluminum price momentum slowed again this month. LME aluminum prices remain in a current two-month downtrend.
Though some may want to declare a bearish market for aluminum, prices are still over the $1,975 level, when MetalMiner recommended buying organizations buy forward. Prices may retrace back toward that level. However, if prices fall below the blue-dotted line, aluminum prices could shift toward bearish territory.
SHFE aluminum spot prices also fell this month. The degree of the decline appears less sharp than for LME prices. However, SHFE aluminum spot prices started to fall in October 2017.
Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) aluminum stocks fell in March for the first time in more than nine months. Decreasing stocks sometimes point to falling inventories of aluminum in China, the world’s biggest aluminum producer and consumer. SHFE stocks dropped by 154 tons in March, according to exchange data released at the beginning of April. However, SHFE aluminum stocks still stand at 970,233 tons.
MW Aluminum Premiums
Meanwhile, U.S. Midwest aluminum premiums fell for the first time since November 2017. The $0.01/pound drop at the beginning of April comes after a sharp uptrend in the premium. Despite the lower premium this month, the pace of the increases may continue for some time.
What This Means for Industrial Buyers
LME aluminum price retracement may give buying organizations a good opportunity to buy, as prices may increase again.
However, as prices are currently trading lower, buying organizations may want to wait until the market shows a clearer direction. Therefore, adapting the “right” buying strategy becomes crucial to reducing risks.
Given the ongoing uncertainty around aluminum and aluminum products, buying organizations may want to take a free trial now to our Monthly Metal Buying Outlook.
Actual Aluminum Prices and Trends
The Aluminum MMI basket generally declined this month.
LME aluminum prices fell this month by 5.8%, with a closing price in March of $2,014/mt. Meanwhile, Korean commercial 1050 sheet increased by 1.97%. Chinese aluminum primary cash prices fell by 1.61%, while China aluminum bar decreased by 3.12%.
Chinese aluminum billet prices traded flat this month, at $2,259/mt. The India primary cash price dropped by 6.51% to $2.01/kilogram.