LONDON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Aluminium slumped to its lowest in more than a year, with other base metals also falling on Tuesday on fresh concerns that a U.S.-China trade war was dampening global growth. Selling pressure intensified after U.S. President Donald Trump warned that he had billions of dollars of new tariffs ready to go if a trade deal with China is not possible. “Comments overnight added further fuel to the fire in terms of the risk of further escalation and downside risk to Chinese growth,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Nicholas Snowdon in London. China is the biggest consumer of industrial metals, accounting for more than half of global aluminium demand. The world’s biggest mining company BHP Billiton on Tuesday trimmed its expectations of global growth for next year and 2020, citing the U.S.-China trade conflict. Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to attend next month’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where they could meet. “The concern is that if things don’t pan out in a positive way with Xi and Trump meeting, then we could be taking a further step in terms of deteriorating trade relations,” Snowdon added. Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange shed 0.5 percent to trade at $1,972 a tonne in official open outcry activity, its weakest level since August 2017.
* COPPER: LME copper, untraded in official rings, was bid down 0.8 percent at $6,114 a tonne after touching $6,050, its lowest since Sept. 20.
* COPPER INVENTORIES: LME copper stocks slid to their lowest since July 2008, having slumped 64 percent since peaking in late March. „We’re getting down to multi-year lows in LME stock levels and at some point the market will have to shift away from macro concerns and back towards the significant tightening in the micro market,” Snowdon said.
* COPPER PREMIUMS: The premium of the LME copper cash contract over the three-month contract CMCU0-3 was last at $26 a tonne, having hit a three-year high of $47 on Friday in a sign of immediate market tightness.
* LEAD STOCKS: LME lead shed 1 percent to trade at$1,936 a tonne in official activity, its weakest since Oct. 11, after a surge in inventories.
LME on-warrant stocks – those not earmarked for delivery – jumped 30 percent overnight to 83,625 tonnes, LME data showed.
* NICKEL: LME nickel edged up 0.3 percent to $11,795 a tonne in official rings, hovering above the 10-month low of $11,700 hit on Monday. “Evidence of long liquidation and (computer-driven) systematic selling noted,” Alastair Munro at broker Marex Spectron said in a note.
PRICES: LME zinc dropped 1.6 percent to trade at $2,580.50 a tonne in official activity while tin was bid down 0.5 percent to $19,025.