Global aluminium prices are testing ten year highs in the wake of a coup in Guinea that ousted President Alpha Conde.
Guinea is a crucial source of aluminium, and under President Conde the mining industry had been allowed significant latitude.
But critics argued that while money flowed into government coffers, not much of it reached the average citizen of Guinea.
Uncertainty about both the security of supply and the general policy direction of the new government set nerves jangling in markets and pushed LME cash aluminium up to an intraday high of US$2,810 per tonne on Wednesday, a level that exceeded the previous 2011 high of $2,803 per tonne.
In the wake of that, Citigroup revised upward its aluminium price forecasts to an average of US$2,475 per tonne for 2021.
“We expect prices to rise to US$2,900 per tonne on a 0-3 month horizon and US$3,100 per tonne over the next 6-12 months,” Citi said.
“Our updated supply/demand balance points to a 1.1mln tonne global deficit in 2021, based on a much tighter Chinese supply structure, and we expect a three million tonne deficit over the 2021-2023 period as a whole.”