SHANGHAI, Mar. 19 (SMM) -- Premier Wen Jiabao said at a press conference following the end of the NPC and CPPCC sessions that China will not ease property restrictions, depressing market confidence. Last week, SHFE 1105 aluminum contract prices still moved between RMB 16,130-16,230/mt, while daily trading volumes were only between 5,000-8,000 lots. Mainstream traded prices for spot aluminum were between RMB 15,930-15,960/mt, but overall trading activity was weak. High inventories and a slow recovery in downstream consumption were preventing spot aluminum prices from rising and weighing down aluminum prices.
SMM predicts SHFE three-month aluminum contract prices will continue to move narrowly between RMB 16,100-16,200/mt given the lack of speculative funds and weak trading activity. High discounts for spot aluminum ingot will resume after the delivery date for SHFE current-month aluminum contracts. Spot aluminum prices will test RMB 16,000/mt in the short term given downstream consumption recovery and slowing growth in aluminum inventories.