Aluminum Drops Most in Three Weeks on Demand Concerns Amid Glut

Aluminum had the biggest drop in three weeks as weaker manufacturing in the U.S. fueled demand concerns amid increased supplies from China, adding to the outlook for a glut in the metal.

A gauge from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Thursday showed contraction at factories in the region for a third straight month. Earlier this week, data showed shipments of the metal from China, the world’s largest producer, rose for the first time in three months in September. Aluminum has dropped 15 percent this year.

“Clearly the U.S. economy is sputtering a little bit, and there’s still so much material out there in China that isn’t being consumed and needs to find a home,” Mark Lewon, the president of Utah Metal Works Inc. in Salt Lake City, said in a telephone interview. “Ultimately, that’s the biggest part of the problem.”

Aluminum for delivery in three months dropped 1.2 percent to settle at $1,574 a metric ton at 5:52 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, marking the biggest loss since Sept. 22.

Tin also fell in London, while copper, zinc, nickel and lead gained.

In New York, copper futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to $2.423 a pound on the Comex.

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