Aluminum and copper prices rise on supply concerns

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Aluminum and copper prices rose on Thursday on concern that stoppages caused by high energy prices or other disruptions will cause shortages.

* By 1600 GMT, benchmark aluminum on the London Metal Exchange gained 1.6% to $2,271 a tonne, while copper rose 2.5% to $7,811.

* Copper futures on US commodity exchange Comex rose 2.6% to $3.52 a pound.

* “We are seeing production cuts in Europe, so the potential is high for a rise in base metal prices, especially aluminum as it is very energy intensive,” said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, a partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan.

* “We are in a situation in which we do not have the push of consumption to achieve a rebound in prices, because more cuts will come, the energy crisis is far from over in Europe.”

* The market estimates that European smelters have cut between 800,000 and 900,000 tonnes a year of aluminum production since energy prices started to rise last year.

* Torlizzi said LME aluminum was getting an extra boost as a physical LME arbitrage window had opened to China for the first time in many months.

* Indonesian President Joko Widodo reiterated that his country will stop exporting raw copper, bauxite and tin to help move up the value chain.

* Workers at BHP’s Escondida mine in Chile, the world’s largest copper mine, voted on Wednesday to strike.

* LME spot copper’s premium over the three-month contract jumped to $145 a tonne on Thursday, the highest since last November, showing short-term shortages of LME inventories.

* LME copper stocks have shrunk 22% in the past four weeks to 102,725 tonnes, their lowest level in five months.

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* Among other base metals, zinc rose 0.8% to $3,149 a tonne and tin gained 2.2% to $21,135 and nickel added 0.6% to $21,705, but lead fell 0. .2% to $1,897.50.

* To view up-to-date base metal prices:

– COPPER

– LEAD

– TIN

– NICKEL

– ALUMINUM

– ZINC

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