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METALS-Aluminium set for strong weekly gain on supply concern

Tom Daly and Mai Nguyen

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

BEIJING/SINGAPORE, May 17 (Reuters) - Aluminium prices in London and Shanghai are set for solid weekly gains on Friday, as alumina refinery shutdowns in China raises production costs for the metal, but a gloomy global growth outlook put pressure on base metals prices.

Benchmark aluminium is on track for its best week of gains since Feb. 22, rising 2.4% on a weekly basis at 0425 GMT, while Shanghai aluminium is seen rising for the first time this week after two straight weeks of falls.

"The aluminium market remains tight. We estimate it was in a deficit of around 1 million tonnes in 2018, with ongoing supply issues likely to deepen this deficit this year," ANZ said in a note.

"Aluminium demand in China is showing signs of recovery. Key sectors such as housing, electricity grid investment and durable goods were all up sharply in recent months. Only the auto sector remains weak; however even the recent fall in growth has subsided," ANZ said.


* ALUMINIUM: The most active aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.2%, easing from a seven-month high hit earlier in the session. London aluminium edged down 0.4% after hitting a two-week high in the previous session.

* ALUMINA: Alumina prices in northern China <SMM-ALM-NCHN> have now exceeded 3,000 yuan a tonne as of Thursday and touched their highest since Dec. 10, latest data showed.

* CHINA: Prior to the shutdowns, China's alumina output rose 4.2% y/y to 6.28 million tonnes in April, according to data released on Thursday. The figure is the highest monthly total on records on the bureau's website since June 2017.

* HYDRO: A Brazilian federal court has lifted one of two production embargoes on Norsk Hydro's Alunorte alumina refinery, the company said on Thursday, raising hopes that full production can soon resume.

* COLUMN: Chinese outages a reminder of aluminium's dirty secret: Andy Home

* OTHER METALS: All metals on the LME fell amid uncertainty for the global economic outlook. Benchmark copper was down 0.7% at $6,058 a tonne, nickel fell 0.6%, zinc lost 1% and lead edged 0.4% lower.

* COPPER: Polish mining company KGHM may produce more copper than planned at its Sierra Gorda mine in Chile in 2019, while keeping capital expenditure below target, its deputy chief executive in charge of foreign assets said.

* STIMULUS HOPES: Large stimulus measures from China in response to an escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade war would eventually drive metals prices higher, Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs said.

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Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin


(Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Rashmi Aich and Gopakumar Warrier)