Industrial metal prices continue to recover, global aluminium production rises
by David Fleschen
After recovering last Thursday and Friday, metal prices also start the new trading week with a friendly undertone. Copper is rising to around USD 9,500 per tonne, aluminium to just under USD 3,000 per tonne. They are being supported by the weaker US dollar and are apparently still benefiting from the unexpectedly significant cut in China's longer-term lending rates on Friday. This is probably intended to support the real estate sector. As the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) reported on Friday, 5.6 million tonnes of aluminium (186.6 thousand tonnes per day) were produced worldwide in April. This was exactly the same amount as in the previous year. On a daily basis, this was the largest quantity in a year. This is due to China, where aluminium production reached a record high of 109.7 thousand tonnes per day.
The National Bureau of Statistics had already spoken of record high Chinese aluminium production a week ago. It even puts Chinese production higher than the IAI. Outside China, however, daily aluminium production has fallen to its lowest level in almost 1½ years. This could be related to the Ukraine war, as the IAI data for the "Russia & Eastern Europe" region shows a decline. The World Bureau of Metal Statistics had reported a high supply surplus in the global aluminium market last week (see Friday's Daily Info Commodities). However, if one looks at the physical aluminium premiums, a differentiated picture emerges regionally: While the premium on the LME price in the USA, for example, has fallen noticeably in recent weeks, it has risen further in Europe and is at a record high of USD 615 per tonne according to the futures contracts on the Comex in New York. We attribute this, in addition to the probably lower production in Russia, to the production cuts in several European countries in the wake of high energy costs.
Source: Commerzbank Research, Photo: Fotolia