SHANGHAI, Mar. 6 (SMM) – The most active SHFE aluminum contract for May delivery closed down RMB 25/mt or 0.15% at RMB 16,235/mt on Monday following a lower opening. Transacted contracts dropped below 6,000 lots with the 20-day moving average almost being leveled. The strong wait-and-see sentiment was mainly due to sluggish demand. SMM expects the contract to continue struggling above RMB 16,200/mt in the near term.
Spot aluminum traded between RMB 15,900-15,930/mt in Shanghai, at discounts of RMB 90-120/mt over the SHFE current-month aluminum price. Trading stayed light as some traders’ withholding of goods failed to tighten supply.
In an SMM survey on this week’s aluminum prices, 59% market players covered expect aluminum price to stabilize near RMB 15,000/mt as weak demand is offset by support from the macroeconomic side. 28% respondents said aluminum price will climb this week as LME aluminum finds support at USD 2,300/mt and domestic demand gradually picks up. Remaining 13% respondents are pessimistic, saying aluminum price will drop slightly given downside pressure on the Chinese economy, staying high consumer prices, slow expansion of domestic consumption and a dim export outlook due to the European debt crisis.