Aluminum Declines to Lowest in Two Weeks as Inventories Expand

Aluminum fell to the lowest in more than two weeks in London as inventories expanded. Copper declined for the first time in seven sessions.

Inventories of unwrought aluminum climbed to 1.215 million metric tons in March, from a revised 1.171 million tons a month earlier, the International Aluminium Institute said in a report today. In the warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange, stockpiles rose for a third day to 5.3 million tons, the longest stretch of gains this year.

“Prices are going to be hampered from moving higher because of that supply, particularly on the LME,” Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview.

Aluminum for delivery in three months fell 1.3 percent to settle at $1,829 a ton at 5:51 p.m. in London, after touching $1,826.75, the lowest since April 9.

Nickel for delivery in three months declined 1.5 percent to $18,175 a ton, after climbing to $18,715, the highest since February 2013.

The U.S. imposed sanctions on seven Russian officials and 17 companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle involved in banking, energy and infrastructure. Russia is home to OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the leading producer of refined metal.

“The sanctions announced today are not really the sanctions that are going to affect the nickel market,” Dragosits said. “It’s not a worry for supply.”

Copper for delivery in three months slipped 0.3 percent to $6,745.50 a ton ($3.06 a pound) in London. On the Comex in New York, futures for delivery in July was unchanged at $3.093 a pound.

Lead and tin declined in London, while zinc rose.

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