LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) – Aluminium prices inched higher on views that China’s supply may continue be cut after winter production curbs expire in two days. Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange added 0.3 percent to $2,097 per tonne by 1210 GMT, after touching a Dec. 20 low of $2,087.50. The metal, used in stainless steel, fell 1.4 percent in the previous session as the market prepared for the winter cuts to be lifted. China ordered smelters in 28 northern cities to cut aluminium output by at least 30 percent from mid-November to mid-March as part of an anti-pollution campaign. “If China was able to extend the supply cuts over and beyond what has already been idled in the winter… aluminium could have some upside,” said ETF Securities commodities strategist Nitesh Shah. “But there is always the risk of slipping into the status quo because China is too scared to allow the stakeholders to be financially degraded by these moves.” SUPPLY: China’s top steelmaking city of Tangshan will order some steel mills to cut production by as much as half to improve air quality, after curbs put in place during winter expire in March, the government said on Tuesday. ALI SPREADS: The discount of LME cash aluminium to the three-month contract moved to $22 a tonne, the biggest discount in nearly five-months. This could encourage deliveries into LME warehouses and takes pressure of prices. TARIFFS: President Donald Trump said this month he would impose tariffs of 10 percent on aluminium imports and 25 percent on steel imports into the United States, sparking fears of a global trade war as he risks retaliation from the likes of China, Europe and Canada. ShFE ALUMINIUM: The most traded May aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) touched its lowest since Dec. 2016. ShFE STOCKS: Inventories in Shanghai reached a fresh record high of 846,913 tonnes, putting pressure on prices. JAPAN: Some Japanese aluminium buyers have agreed to pay a premium of $129 per tonne for shipments from global producers in the April to June quarter, reflecting soaring U.S. spot premiums, two sources directly involved in the pricing talks said on Monday. LEAD STOCKS: On-warrant lead inventories available to the market at LME-registered warehouses fell to 92,025 tonnes after 8,000 tonnes of cancellations, pushing prices higher.

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