LME aluminium has been on an uncharacteristically wild ride thanks to trade tariffs and sanctions (most notably targeting Oleg Deripaska and Rusal) from the US administration of President Donald Trump. The news flow, and the aluminium markets trading range, has changed daily, making forecasting in such a volatile environment very difficult. Prices raced to $2,718 per tonne at the height of the sanctions panic in the week of April 16-20, but by the time of writing on April 23, prices had slumped back into the $2,200s on news that the US will not impose secondary sanctions against Rusal.
Physical premiums and alumina prices have also been soaring, the latter partly on account of Hydros Alunorte refinery in Brazil being forced to run at 50% of capacity and declare force majeure. For what it is worth our aluminium price forecast for Q2 stands at $2,300 per tonne, but much can still change.
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