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METALS-Aluminium resumes rally after Rio Tinto force majeure

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* LME/ShFE arb:

* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: (Adds official prices, adds dollar, Norsk Hydro)

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Aluminium prices touched a new six-year high on Monday as the dollar fell and after Rio Tinto said on Friday it would declare force majeure on some of its customer contracts following U.S. sanctions on its partner Rusal.

Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange rose 2.7 percent to $2,347 per tonne in official rings. Prices earlier touched their highest since March 2012 at $2,366.50.

“Aluminium keeps gaining since we are likely to get force majeures declared by other traders since Russia’s Rusal was one of the world’s largest producers,” said Commerzbank head of commodities research Eugen Weinberg.

Rio Tinto also said it was reviewing Rusal’s 20 percent stake in the Queensland Alumina refinery, Rusal’s supply and offtake arrangements, bauxite sales to Rusal’s refinery in Ireland and offtake contracts for alumina.

NORSK HYDRO: The global aluminium market could face supply shortages because of U.S. sanctions on Russia and Norsk Hydro’s production cuts in Brazil, Hydro’s chief executive told Reuters on Monday.

GLENCORE: Swiss trader Glencore will declare force majeure on some aluminium supply, a source told Reuters on Wednesday.

STOCKS: Total stocks of aluminium rose 15,100 tonnes to 1.4 million tonnes. Total stocks are up 9 percent since the start of the Rusal sanctions on April 6.

DOLLAR: Boosting commodity prices was a softer dollar , which tends to support metals it is priced in.

LME: The LME will suspend Rusal’s aluminium from its list of approved brands from April 17 after some members raised concerns about settling LME contracts with companies facing sanctions.

SPREADS: The premium of cash to the three-month contract on the LME was at $52 a tonne on Thursday, its highest in at least a decade, but nearly evaporated by Monday to above $6. CMAL0-3

U.S. PREMIUMS: The U.S aluminium premium on Comex was at 21.1 cents per pound ($465 a tonne) on Friday, close to its highest in three years.

CHINA ALUMINIUM: China’s top steelmaking city of Tangshan is enacting a series of emergency measures to tackle a bout of foul air expected to blanket the city and the surrounding Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region from Monday, a municipal official told Reuters.

SHFE ALUMINIUM: The most-traded June aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.9 percent at 14,625 yuan ($2,327) a tonne. It earlier touched its highest since Feb. 12.

COPPER: Three-month copper on the LME was bid 0.3 percent higher at $6,850 a tonne, tin was bid down 0.2 percent to $21,000, zinc was bid 0.4 percent lower to $3,130, lead was bid 1.3 percent higher at $2,333 and nickel added 2 percent to a two-month high of $14,210 tonnes.

Additional reporting by Tom Daly and Manolo Serapio Jr, editing by David Evans and Adrian Croft

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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