Aluminium prices fell on Wednesday, with the Shanghai contract hitting a two-month low, as the drop in coal prices eased traders’ concerns over supply shortage of the metal.
Aluminium smelting is an energy-intensive process and has been considered as one of the worst-hit sectors by China’s power crisis, pushing up prices of the metal as coal hiked.
But thermal coal hit its 10% lower trading limit on Wednesday after Chinese state planner said it had asked major coal-producing provinces to probe and regulate illegal storage sites, and to crack down on hoarding behaviour.
The most-traded December aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell as much as 3.3% to 20,420 yuan ($130,362.61) a tonne, the lowest since Aug. 26 and on track for a sixth straight session of decline.
Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange shed as much as 1.7% to a seven-week low of $2,780 a tonne.
LME copper fell 0.3% to $9,758 a tonne, zinc declined 0.7% to $3,401.50 a tonne, tin dropped 0.5% to $37,245 a tonne, while nickel rose 0.6% to $20,205 a tonne.
LME cash nickel was last at a $125-a-tonne premium over the three-month contract, indicating tightness in nearby supply as readily available stocks in LME warehouses fell.
One party controls more than 90% of available LME zinc stocks and short-term futures, LME data showed.