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LME price nears $1,700 per mton; Billet market improves in Europe; More withdrawal orders in Asia


Executive Summary

1. LME PRICE ALERT. Prices reached a new sixteen-week high of $1,695 per mton before resistance/profit-taking emerged. In April, HARBOR forecasted $1,670–$1,700 per mton by Q3 when the market was trading at $1,421 per mton.

2. LME aluminum canceled warrants continue to spike in Asia amid wide contangos and supportive premium outlooks.

3. LME Cash–3M contango narrows somewhat while producer selling appears to emerge for Q1 2021.

4. EUROPEAN BILLET UPDATE. Spot activity picks up; supply tightness for large diameter billet emerges. To see our full European Billet Market Intel and Premiums assessment please see our specialized European Billet Intelligence Report.

5. ALUMINUM PRODUCTION ALERT. Rio Tinto sees New Zealand smelter as unviable, but closure is not a done deal.

6. China's aluminum prices test a fresh five-month high.

More details in full report.