Aluminium rises as Russia’s new export tax fuels supply concerns
London aluminium prices climbed on Tuesday as concerns grew about supplies from the world’s top two producers after Russia announced new export taxes amid existing output curbs in China.
Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange CMAL3 rose 1.4% to $2,523.50 a tonne by 0604 GMT, while the most-traded August aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SAFcv1 slipped 0.5% to 18,835 yuan ($2,915.91) a tonne.
Russia is preparing new export taxes for steel products, nickel, aluminium and copper, and Moscow-based Rusal 0486.HK is the world’s largest aluminium producer outside of China.
A trader said worries over the new Russian tax, output cut in China’s major producing province of Yunnan and a slow start to new capacity addition supported prices.
The trader, however, said the peak demand season was coming to an end and the next strong period would start in September.
Commodities broker Anna Stablum of Marex Spectron said in a note that the United States started to require licences to import aluminium from Monday, which also supported prices.
Strong demand recovery and tight supply have pushed aluminium premium in the United States AUPc1 to $605.7 a tonne, the highest since October 2013.
Aluminium inventories have been declining at exchanges, with ShFE stocks AL-STX-SGH hitting their lowest since Feb. 10 at 288,741 tonnes, while LME stockpiles MALSTX-TOTAL were at their lowest since March 9 at 1.59 million tonnes.
Other metals were pressured by a firm dollar .DXY. A stronger dollar makes greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.
LME copper CMCU3 fell 0.7% to $9,320 a tonne and nickel CMNI3 was down 0.4% to $18,220 a tonne, while lead CMPB3 was up 0.5% at $2,244.50 a tonne.
ShFE nickel SNIcv1 dropped 1.5% to 135,630 yuan a tonne and ShFE copper SCFcv1 declined 0.8% to 67,930 yuan a tonne, while zinc SZNcv1 was up 0.2% at 21,890 yuan a tonne.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Subhranshu Sahu)