By Pratima Desai
LONDON, Apr 23 (Reuters) – Aluminum prices rose to three-year highs on Friday on signs of falling inventories, and fueled by concerns over supplies from China, where authorities are cracking down on polluting industries. .
* At 1121 GMT, benchmark aluminum on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 1% at $ 2,387 a tonne. Prices for the metal used in the transportation, construction and packaging industries reached $ 2,389, a gain of more than 20% since January.
* Meanwhile, three-month copper on the LME rose 1.2% to $ 9,515 a tonne.
* Electricity, which in China is generated largely through the use of coal, can account for between 30% and 40% of aluminum smelting costs.
* “The fact that China says it is going to reduce its use of coal is potentially a game changer for aluminum, but the tipping point for prices is not far off,” said Dan Smith, managing director of Commodity Market Analytics. .
* “Economic strength in China is fading and quarter-over-quarter momentum is slowing for many economic indicators.”
* Aluminum stocks in LME-registered warehouses total almost 1.8 million tonnes, down 8% from mid-March. Warrants (metal destined for delivery) canceled at 31% levels suggest that more aluminum will soon be coming off the LME network.
* To view base metal futures prices:
(Report by Pratima Desai; Edited in Spanish by Janisse Huambachano)