NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Aluminum stocks stored outside of the London Metal Exchange totaled 2.1 million tonnes at the end of 2013 and are expected to rise this year, Alcoa Inc Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer William Oplinger said on Thursday.
The forecast made in a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter earnings comes amid growing concerns about depleting availability of metal, particularly in the United States, where physical prices have hit all-time highs.
Premiums paid on top of the LME benchmark price for physical delivery have soared this week, even as the global market struggles with an unprecedented surplus.
Traders are putting more metal in long-term storage deals outside of the exchange network because of lower rent prices, effectively removing metal from the market available to consumers, who use aluminum to make beverage cans and automotive sheet, market participants said.
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