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China's aluminium market shows strength

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Update time : 2024-04-11 17:33:54
China's aluminium prices hit RMB20,000/t on Monday. The main index price reached RMB20,200/t, while the spot price also crept over the line, achieving RMB20,100/t. The spot eased slightly today, but the main index price found more energy.

External factors have achieved this level. The internal factors favour modest price growth, but this sustained rise—prices have been rising since the start of March—has come about because global investors are showing signs that they believe that economic recovery is here or about to arrive. In the US, the talk is about interest rates dropping from mid-year, while in Europe, a temperate winter helped ease energy prices and, therefore, inflation.

This is the peak season for the demand for aluminium in China's domestic market. Or at least, it was up until the days of COVID. We are only just into the start of April, so there's yet to be a way to travel, but there are some good signs. Inventory levels are slipping, and that's always been a promising tell. This year, the use of liquid metal transfers has increased, making inventory as a signal less reliable.

The 20,000 barrier had been viewed inside the market as some sort of ceiling, and it still is. Prices have gone inside the new territory, but only by a tiny amount, and the rise has yet to be tested. Without further signs of demand improvement, I will hang my hat on the 20,000 price remaining as a ceiling. On a good day, the price may reach RMB 20,500/t, but I can't see this level as being sustainable. Prove me wrong!

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