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Aluminium price hits $3,000 a tonne on tight supply

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Aluminium prices have been driven up by a drop in production in China and concerns about a coup in Guinea (AFP/STR)

The price of aluminium hit exactly $3,000 a tonne in trading on Monday, the metal's highest level for 13 years, with tight supplies worsened by the recent military coup in Guinea.

The African nation is rich in bauxite rock, from which aluminium is processed.

Aluminium prices had already been soaring before the coup struck at the start of the month, rising by about 40 percent since January as global economic activity bounces back from the Covid-19 trough.

After striking the highest level since 2008, the base metal used in everyday items eased to $2,953 a tonne in mid-morning deals on the London Metal Exchange.

"It's all about supply problems driving aluminium prices ever higher," Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann told AFP.

Pushing prices higher are also rising electricity prices in China, which has led to a sag in production at a number of foundries in its western Xinjiang region.

Aluminium smelting consumes voracious quantities of energy.

Guinea possesses the world's largest reserves of bauxite, the reddish or grey rock, whose aluminium oxide is smelted into aluminium.

Guinea's ruling military has been coming under growing diplomatic pressure after special forces led by Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya seized power and arrested president Alpha Conde.

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