BEIJING, April 16 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices hit
a two-month high on Monday after Rio Tinto said it would declare
force majeure on certain customer contracts in light of U.S.
sanctions on its partner, Russian aluminium giant Rusal.
    Rusal holds a 20 percent stake in Rio's Queensland Alumina
refinery in Australia, as concerns over supply shortages focus
not only on aluminium but also the substance used to make the
    "China and Russia's aluminium industry are now both affected
by the sanctions," consultancy AZ China said in a note over the
weekend, referring to a 10 percent import tariff imposed by U.S.
President Donald Trump. 
    "Trump's policies are bound to have an impact on the global
aluminium landscape," it added.
    China, the world's largest aluminium producer, "may be able
to step in and supply metal to Rusal customers, possibly even
for political reasons", but this would be "only a temporary
alleviation on the impact", said AZ China. 
    * SHFE ALUMINIUM: The most-traded June aluminium contract on
the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 0.6 percent at
14,580 yuan ($2,321.21) a tonne by the mid-session interval. It
earlier touched 14,670 yuan a tonne, its highest since Feb. 12.
    * LME ALUMINIUM: Three-month aluminium on the London Metal
Exchange was flat at $2,284.50 a tonne at 0330 GMT,
after hitting a six-high year of $2,340 a tonne on Friday and
posting its biggest weekly gain since the current contract was
    * RUSAL: Rio Tinto said on Friday it was
reviewing Rusal's 20 percent stake in the Queensland
Alumina refinery, Rusal's supply and offtake arrangements,
bauxite sales to Rusal's refinery in Ireland and offtake
contracts for alumina.
    * RUSAL STOCK: Rusal shares fell more than 20 percent to a
record low in early trading in Hong Kong. The stock was last
trading at HK$1.59 ($0.2026), down from HK$4.64 on April 6
before U.S. sanctions were imposed.
    * COLUMN: U.S. sanctions are an aluminium-tipped precision
strike: Andy Home.
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the LME was down 0.2
percent at $6,818.50 a tonne, after edging up 0.1 percent on
Friday, while ShFE copper slipped 0.1 percent to 50,350
yuan a tonne.
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