Commodities such as oil, copper and gold have been the darling of investors' eyes but there's a new rising star: aluminum, investors say.
Used in everything from industrial products to aircraft to drink cans, aluminum is winning favor among investors, who have pushed the benchmark aluminum contract above $2,500 a ton for the first time since September 2008, the Financial Times reports.
President Barack Obama at Skana Aluminum Company in Manitowoc, Wis.
"Whenever I go around, people are saying, my God, wouldn’t it be great if aluminum would be like copper?" says Klaus Kleinfeld, chief executive of Alcoa, a U.S. aluminum producer.
Unlike copper, aluminum is nowhere close to the peak of the last cycle, when it hit $3,380 in July 2008.
Copper is now nearly four times as expensive as aluminum, the highest such ratio on record.
Translation: Buy now. A rally is coming.
"Aluminum is set to play catch up and redress the imbalance," says Nick Moore, head of commodity strategy at RBS.
The good times might not last, however.
Global aluminum supply, while constrained at the moment, should outstrip demand by 5.6 percent this year as idled facilities come back online while new ones open for business, Bloomberg reports.
"This year’s surplus may widen because of the restart of idled production sites, especially in the U.S., and output expansion in India, Brazil and Qatar," Motoi Kamitani, manager of light metal trading at Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corp., tells Bloomberg.
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