Aluminum Prices Advance to 13-Month High as Inventories Decline

Jul 15, 2014 1:53 pm ET

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Aluminum prices rose to a 13-month high as inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange extended a slump to the lowest since 2012.

Stockpiles have dropped 8.6 percent this year to 4.99 million metric tons. Orders to withdraw aluminum account for 59 percent of inventories, compared with 43 percent at the end of 2013. Prices have climbed 8.9 percent in 2014.

“A large proportion of the stockpile is still not available to the general market,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone in New York, said in a report.

Aluminum for delivery in three months advanced 0.9 percent to settle at $1,960 a ton at 5:51 p.m. on the LME. Earlier, the price touched $1,967.25, the highest since June 7, 2013. Inventories dropped for the 10th straight session to the lowest since Sept. 13, 2012.

Copper rose 0.1 percent to $7,130 a ton ($3.23 a pound) on the LME. Zinc, lead and nickel fell, while tin gained.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery advanced less than 0.1 percent to $3.2495 a pound. The price has dropped 4.3 percent this year.