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Aluminum Heads for Biggest Weekly Advance Since November 2012

April 4 (Bloomberg) -- Aluminum headed for the biggest weekly gain since November 2012 in London as orders to withdraw the metal from warehouses surged while producers curb output. Nickel touched a one-year high.

Canceled warrants, as the orders are known, jumped the most this week since December 2012, London Metal Exchange data showed. Traders earmarked almost 300,000 metric tons for withdrawal at Vlissingen, the biggest LME aluminum depository. Alcoa Inc. said last week it will reduce capacity at Brazilian smelters made uncompetitive by lower prices and higher costs.

“Recent cutback announcements and a surge in warrant cancellations seem to be fueling the rally,” William Adams, an analyst at Fastmarkets.com in London, said in a report today.

Aluminum for delivery in three months added 0.6 percent to $1,845 a ton by 1:13 p.m. on the LME, extending this week’s advance to 4.9 percent. The lightweight metal rose for a seventh session, the longest rally since September 2012. Electronic trading volume for the three-month contract was the second-highest on record on April 2, according to the exchange.

Prices also climbed this week amid longer wait times to withdraw aluminum in Vlissingen. Obtaining supplies from inventories in the Dutch city takes more than 24 months, a record, researcher Harbor Intelligence said yesterday in a report. The global market will be in deficit by at least 1.1 million tons this year and in 2015, it said.

United Co. Rusal, the biggest aluminum producer, said in February its production would fall to the lowest in at least eight years. In Brazil, companies producing the metal at the lowest level in 12 years expect authorities to ration power supplies as a drought curbs hydroelectric generation.

Aluminum canceled warrants rose to a record 2.86 million tons today, for a 12 percent weekly climb. Traders earmarked 76 percent of the metal stored in Vlissingen for withdrawal.

Copper for delivery in three months climbed 0.9 percent to $6,704 a ton on the LME, heading for a third weekly gain. The metal for delivery in May rose 1.1 percent to $3.0595 a pound on the Comex in New York.

Nickel reached $16,591 a ton in London, the highest level since April 2, 2013. Zinc, tin and lead gained.

To contact the reporter on this story: Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net Dan Weeks, John Deane

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