Aluminum hit $ 3,000 a tonne in London for the first time in 13 years amid expectations that supply disruptions are here to stay as demand continues to rise.
The metal continued to rise on Monday after advancing 15% in the past three weeks. Chinese production has slumped amid efforts to cut emissions and conserve energy, while a hit at bauxite producer Guinea has raised concerns about the supply of the material used in aluminum production. Smelters in the European Union are also facing rising costs with carbon credits and energy inputs at record levels, said Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
“In China and increasingly in the EU, the political risk to aluminum supply is growing,” Goldman analysts, including Jeff Currie, said in a note published Monday. While the bank does not see the recent hit in Guinea as a material impact on bauxite, upside risks persist as regional tensions could create more logistics bottlenecks, they said.
Tangled supplies will haunt the industry for the rest of this year and most of 2022, according to many participants at the Port Aluminum Summit in Chicago, with some projecting it could take up to five years to resolve the issues. Energy-intensive metal has risen about two-thirds over the past year.
Aluminum rose as much as 2.6% to $ 3,000 a tonne, the highest intraday level since 2008, on the London Metal Exchange. It was trading at $ 2,992.50 at 7:09 am in London. In China, the metal rose as much as 5.4% to 23,790 yuan, the highest since 2006. Other base metals were mainly lower, with zinc falling 0.9% in London.
Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., the country’s largest foundry, rose as much as 12% in Hong Kong on Monday. Chinese material stocks may see a new rating as more government measures to curb steel production to cut emissions could boost prices for cement, steel and aluminum, Citigroup Inc. analyst Jack Shang said in a note.