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10. July 2008

Aluminium prices at record high

London - Aluminium jumped to a record high yesterday on output cuts in top producer China, while lead surged more than 12 percent as the market fretted over lower inventories.

Aluminium for delivery in three months hit an all-time high of $3,380 per tonne, up 6 percent from Wednesday, after China’s top 20 smelters said they would cut output by 5-10 percent from July to reduce power consumption. The energy-intensive metal, used in transport and packaging, closed at $3,290 per tonne London Metal Exchange, up $100 from Wednesday. The metal has gained nearly 40 percent since the start of the year on the back of power problems in China.

“We think this is just the beginning of the energy related disruptions the market is going to face,” said analyst Gayle Berry at Barclays Capital. Three-months lead soared more than 12 percent to $2,010 a tonne as a rise in cancelled warrants — material ready to leave warehouses — sparked worries about supply. The metal ended at $1,984 a tonne, up $194 from Wednesday.

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