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March 21 : Aluminium prices rose on Monday after Australia’s announcement to ban exports of alumina and aluminum ores to Russia exacerbated fears of supply disruption of the lightweight metal.
The move will limit Russia’s capacity to produce aluminum, one of its critical exports, the Australian government said.
“This could see Russia having to rely on China for any shortfall in alumina,” ING said in a note.
Russia accounts for about 6 percent of global supply of aluminum and 10 percent of nickel, and is a major producer of natural gas used to generate electricity that powers production of metals.
German aluminum maker Trimet will cut production at its main factory in Essen by half in the coming weeks amid huge costs for the energy-intense production process.
Three-month aluminum on the London Metal Exchange (LME) climbed 3.7 percent to $3,507 a ton by 0940 GMT, after hitting a peak since March 10.
The most-traded May aluminum contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 2.3 percent at 23,105 yuan ($3,635.38) a ton, having earlier hit its highest since March 8.
“Traders are concerned about any further disruption in supply as the war extends,” said Kunal Sawhney, chief executive officer at research firm Kalkine.
“The demand for aluminum has soared globally while there is a supply deficit that may keep supporting aluminum prices in the near-to medium-term.”
Ukraine defied a Russian demand that its forces lay down arms before dawn on Monday in Mariupol, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have been trapped in a city under siege and laid to waste by Russian bombardment.
No new contracts with Russian producers, says aluminum company Norsk Hydro
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