Aluminum traded near a four-year low, heading for the first monthly decline since June amid signs that the metal will remain in oversupply.
The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange was unchanged at $1,754 a metric ton by 3:45 p.m. in Shanghai after tumbling to $1,744 yesterday, the lowest since July 2009. Aluminum decreased 5.7 percent this month, bringing the drop to 15 percent in 2013.
Global production will climb 6.2 percent this year, exceeding demand by about 500,000 tons, said Societe Generale SA this week. Stockpiles in LME-monitored warehouses increased 3.6 percent this year through yesterday, daily exchange data show.
“Aluminum is weak because it has the worst fundamentals among base metals,” said Xiong Dabiao, an analyst at Minmetals Futures Co. in Shanghai. “Others are finding some support.”
Copper for delivery in three months on the LME rose 0.4 percent to $7,046.50 a ton, paring the biggest monthly decline since June. Inventories declined for a 19th session to 429,200 tons yesterday, exchange data show. The contract for delivery in February in Shanghai closed up 0.4 percent to 50,600 yuan ($8,304) a ton. Metal for delivery in March rose 0.6 percent to $3.2095 a pound on the Comex.
On the LME, nickel, zinc and lead gained, while tin was little changed.