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Metal markets steady as aluminum supply worries start to ease

Apr 25 2018 13:26
Bloomberg News

Shanghai - After three weeks of intense volatility, metal markets seem to be calming down.

Aluminum steadied after a four-day selloff, which was driven the US decision to rein in harsh sanctions against United Rusal. Nickel advanced 1.4% as the Philippines moved forward with a plan to limit the area of land miners are permitted to exploit. Most other metals were little changed.

“Prices should revert to some extent,” Wei Lai, an analyst with Cofco Futures, said in Shanghai. “The worst time for Rusal has passed.”

Aluminum update: Consumers are buying pre-sanctions rusal metal

Aluminum’s breathtaking rally has been thrown into reverse after the US switched tack, saying on Monday it would provide sanctions relief if Oleg Deripaska relinquishes control of Rusal and extended the window for traders to stop dealings with the company.

Still, it’s unclear how much of Rusal’s trade will resume as the flow of aluminum and its raw materials depends on ports, shipping companies, banks and buyers all being comfortable in dealing with the Russian company.

UBS Group said the market is underestimating supply challenges. The bank forecast prices of $2 500 a ton in six months and $2 300 a ton in 12 months.

Aluminum was little changed at $2 231 a metric ton on Wednesday. Prices have given back roughly half the gains since sanctions were announced in early April.

In zinc, orders to withdraw the metal from warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange fell 12% to the lowest since 2012. Copper canceled warrants are also on the rise, notching the biggest four-day increase since 2010.

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equities  |  aluminium  |  markets
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