Alcoa Posts Highest Close Since 2008 as Aluminum Prices Surge

  • Metal rises to highest since 2012 on report of smelter cuts
  • Global aluminum output fell in August to 16-month low: IAI

Aluminum is on a roll and it’s taking its makers with it.

Alcoa Corp., the largest U.S. producer of the metal, had the highest close since the global financial crisis hit in 2008 as aluminum extended its rally to a five-year high. The metal advanced for a third day after a report of possible production cuts in China, compounding supply concerns.

The government of Jiaozuo, in Henan province, ordered companies to reduce output and emissions by more than 30 percent from Sept. 19 through March 15, Jiaozuo Wanfang Aluminum Manufacturing Co. said in a statement Wednesday to the Shenzhen stock exchange. The company is making plans to meet the targets, it said.

China’s crackdown on pollution “is idling a pile of their industrial plants,” Dave Lutz, the head of exchange-traded fund trading at JonesTrading Institutional Services, said in an email. “Aluminum in Shanghai leapt overnight. That coupled with a falling dollar has Alcoa running again.”

Alcoa rose 2.8 percent to $47.50 at the close in New York. Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. climbed 9 percent while United Co. Rusal advanced 6.7 percent, leading gains on the Bloomberg Intelligence gauge of 18 global base-metals producers.

The metal used in everything from beer cans to airliners jumped as much as 3.3 percent on the London Metal Exchange to $2,194.50 a metric ton, the highest since September 2012. The lightweight metal has surged 38 percent in the past 12 months.

Global aluminum output fell to 159,800 tons a day in August, the lowest since April 2016, according to data on the International Aluminium Institute’s website. China’s production of the metal dropped 1.6 percent to 85,200 tons a day in August compared with July.

Among other metals traded on the LME, nickel, zinc and lead also rose, while copper and tin slipped.

— With assistance by Martin Ritchie, Winnie Zhu, Nicholas Larkin, and Jessica Sui

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