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Shanghai aluminium hits near 4-week high as China inventories dip

"Ona Lardner" (2020-04-25) Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, April 16 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium futures prices rose to their highest in nearly four weeks on Thursday as inventories in China fell and as expectations of supply cuts increased.

The most-traded aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) rose as much as 1.8% to 12,125 yuan ($1,713.76) a tonne, its highest since March 20. The contract closed at 12,085 yuan a tonne, up 1.5%.

Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was on track for its fourth straight session of gain, up 0.5% at $1,515.50 a tonne by 0701 GMT. The contract touched a two-week high in the previous session at $1,529 a tonne.

"Rising expectations of supply cuts have been driving the rally, along with a marginal improvement in the China market. This is evident with inventories in the local market declining, and anecdotal reports of stock replenishment," analysts at ING bank said in a note.


* SHFE INVENTORIES: Aluminium stocks in warehouses tracked by ShFE <AL-STX-SGH> fell for a third straight week to a five-week low of 511,252 tonnes, as of April 10, latest weekly exchange data showed.

* CHINA SOCIAL STOCKS: China's social inventories of primary aluminium ingots in eight consumption areas in China <SMM-ALU-CON> fell to 1.55 million tonnes on Monday, their lowest since March 5, data provided by SMM showed.

* LME: However, inventories of aluminium in LME-approved warehouses <MALSTX-TOTAL> climbed to 1.26 million tonnes, the highest since Feb. 4, while the discount of LME cash aluminium over the three-month contract <CMAL0-3> was last at $38.25 a tonne, indicating abundant nearby supplies on the LME.

* OTHER PRICES: LME copper rose 0.4% to $5,134 a tonne, nickel eased 0.8% to $11,675 a tonne, zinc gained 0.4% to $1,938, lead fell 0.2% to $1,698.50 a tonne and read here tin edged up 0.4% to $15,150 a tonne.

* SHFE PRICES: Copper dipped 0.1% to 41,560 yuan a tonne, nickel fell 1.9% to 95,760 yuan a tonne, zinc rose 0.6% to 15,970 yuan a tonne, while lead decreased 0.6% to 13,810 yuan a tonne.

* GLENCORE: Zambia plans to revoke mining licences of Glencore's subsidiary Mopani Copper Mines because the company did not give enough notice before suspending its mining operations in the coronavirus crisis and other problems.

* For top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 7.0751 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Uttaresh.V)