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METALS-Shanghai aluminium nears one-month high on supply fears

Mai Nguyen

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

SINGAPORE, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices rose to their highest in almost a month on Monday on worries of a supply shortage after stocks of the metal used in transport and packaging dropped.

The most active aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) rose as much as 0.9% to 13,960 yuan ($1,986.79) a tonne, its highest since Oct. 9. It was up 0.5% at 13,910 yuan a tonne, as of 0419 GMT.

Benchmark three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) eased 0.1%, after jumping 1.8% in the previous session, its strongest gain since Aug. 8.

Miner Rio Tinto Ltd last month said high energy costs have made its Australian aluminium assets unsustainable and flagged that it may cut output or shut its New Zealand's Aluminium Smelter.

"Demand in both China and the outside world are not good this year. Prices could just be range bound (from current level). Of course, if there is any unexpected extra supply disruption, that would be another story," said analyst Jackie Wang.

FUNDAMENTALS

* ALUMINIUM STOCKS: Aluminium stocks in warehouses tracked by ShFE <AL-STX-SGH> dropped to their lowest since March 2017 at 278,736 tonnes, while LME aluminium inventories <MALSTX-TOTAL> dipped to their lowest since Sept. 30 at 956,200 tonnes.

* SPREAD: The difference between the LME aluminium cash and three month contracts <CMAL0-3> flipped to a premium for the first time since January to $4.75 a tonne, indicating tight nearby supplies.

* ALUMINIUM DEMAND: The anti-plastic trend and electric cars are expected to boost aluminium consumption, Novelis senior vice president and Europe president Emilio Braghi said.

* BALANCE: The global aluminium market is due to flip into a surplus of 304,000 tonnes next year from a deficit of 658,500 tonnes in 2019, a recent Reuters poll showed.

* LME WAREHOUSE: The London Metal Exchange will allow warehouses in its network to extend queues for loading out metal, and will require them to report stocks stored outside the LME system that could be brought in at a later date.

* TRADE DEAL: The United States and China on Friday said they made progress in talks aimed at defusing a nearly 16-month-long trade war that has harmed the global economy, and U.S. officials said a deal could be signed this month.

* LME PRICES: LME copper edged up 0.3% to $5,869.50 a tonne, nickel fell 0.4% to $16,715 a tonne, zinc rose 0.5% to $2,533 a tonne and lead edged up 0.2% to $2,167.50 a tonne.

* SHFE PRICES: ShFE copper edged up 0.1% to 47,060 yuan a tonne, nickel rose 0.5% to 134,050 yuan a tonne, zinc advanced 0.5% to 19,035 yuan a tonne while lead fell 0.4% to 16,465 yuan a tonne and tin declined 0.6% to 136,560 yuan a tonne.

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PRICES

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

ARBS ($1 = 7.0264 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni and Amy Caren Daniel)