* Aluminium hits six-year high of $2,340/T
* LME/ShFE arb: http://bit.ly/2wZSAEz
* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Updates with official prices)
LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - Aluminium hit a six-year high on Friday and remained on track for the biggest weekly gain on record after the United States imposed sanctions on Russia's UC Rusal, the world's second-biggest producer of the metal.
Traders have scrambled to stockpile aluminium this week, given concerns that the removal of Rusal metal from the market will further tighten availability.
"If you look at the scope of Rusal supply, they were a very cost-efficient supplier and a very substantial one, and they were well meshed into a lot of other manufacturers downstream," said Natixis analyst Cameron Karami.
"If Rusal supply does (largely) go out of the market; ie, if they can't continue to sell via a third party, that will lead to a meaningful deficit, and that is certainly still positive for prices."
On-warrant aluminium stocks in London Metal Exchange warehouses -- metal available to the market -- fell by nearly 100,000 tonnes, exchange data showed on Friday, almost the same quantity as added to headline stocks the previous day.
Traders say the aluminium delivered to LME warehouses this week was probably produced by Rusal and that the cancelled warrants -- material earmarked for delivery and no longer available -- is likely to be from other companies.
* ALUMINIUM PRICES: London Metal Exchange aluminium hit its highest since March 2012 at $2,340 a tonne. It was down 0.9 percent at $2,303 in official midday trading but remained on course for a weekly gain of nearly 14 percent. That would be its biggest one-week rise since the contract was launched in its current form in 1987, according to Reuters data.
* RUSAL: U.S. sanctions on Russian entities are hitting companies controlled by tycoon Oleg Deripaska, including aluminium giant Rusal.
* U.S. ALUMINIUM STOCKS: Almost all the aluminium in the United States was removed from Comex warehouses this week. Stocks tumbled by about 44,000 tonnes to 11,168 tonnes. <AL-TTLTTDY-STX>
* SPREADS: The rush for stocks was reflected in time spreads on the LME, with the premium on the cash aluminium contract rising to $56 a tonne over the three-month future <CMAL0-3>, its highest in at least a decade.
* ALUMINIUM TECHNICALS: LME aluminium is set to rise into a$2,353-$2,389 range after breaking resistance at $2,318 a tonne, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said, citing its wave pattern and projection analysis.
* COPPER: LME copper was up 0.6 percent at $6,862 a tonne in official trading. The base metals were broadly benefiting from sharper appetite for cyclical assets on Friday, reflected by strength in equities.
* OTHER METALS: LME zinc was up 1 percent at $3,125 a tonne in official trading, while tin rose 0.6 percent to $21,025. Lead and nickel were untraded in official rings and were last bid down 0.3 percent at $2,326 and up 2.3 percent at $14,025 respectively.
(Reporting by Jan Harvey Additional reporting by Pratima Desai in London and Melanie Burton in Melbourne Editing by David Goodman)