SINGAPORE — London aluminum prices rose on Wednesday, recouping the previous session’s losses, as risks of supply shortages amid the heightened Russia-Ukraine conflict underpinned the market.
The benchmark London Metal Exchange (LME) aluminum climbed 0.5% to $3,522.50 a tonne by 0246 GMT. Shanghai aluminum gained 0.1% to 23,050 yuan ($3,619.77) a tonne.
“The ban on Australian sales of alumina to Russia could see production of aluminum suffer,” ANZ said in a note. “Australian imports make up 20% of Russia’s total alumina imports. The threat of disruption across the rest of the base metals is also rising.”
AUSTRALIAN BAN: Aluminium prices found support after Australia banned the export to Russia of materials used to make the metal. Russia accounts for about 6% of global aluminum supply.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR: Talks between Ukraine and Russia are confrontational but moving forward, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, as the West plans to announce more sanctions against the Kremlin amid a worsening humanitarian crisis.
PRODUCTION CUTS: Germany-based TRIMET became the latest smelter to cut aluminum output in Europe because of higher energy prices, which have spiked since Russia invaded Ukraine.
RECORD PRICES: Supply uncertainty had pushed aluminum to a record high of $4,073.50 on March 7.
PREMIUM: One global aluminum producer has offered Japanese buyers premiums of $195 per tonne for April-June primary metal shipments, up 10% from the current quarter, two sources directly involved in quarterly pricing talks said on Tuesday.
PROFITS: Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, known as Chalco, said on Tuesday its net income surged 564.6% in 2021 to log its best performance in 14 years, due to rising alumina and aluminum prices and higher production.
RUSSIAN METALS: The LME has no current plans to ban from its system metal from Russian producers, such as nickel and copper from Norilsk Nickel or aluminum from Rusal, it said on Tuesday, despite calls from some members to do so.
NICKEL SURPLUS: The global nickel market registered a surplus of 6,000 tonnes in January after a deficit last year, the International Nickel Study Group said.
COPPER: The LME copper rose 0.1% to $10,281.50 a tonne and Shanghai copper was little changed at 73,150 yuan a tonne.
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ARBS ($1 = 6.3678 yuan) (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)