By Pratima Desai
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose to a 13-year high on Monday, driven by strong demand and severe shortages caused by production curbs that China has imposed on heavily polluting industries such as foundries to curb oil use, energy and emissions.
* At 0955 GMT, benchmark aluminum on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 1.1% to $2,888 a ton. Metal prices reached $3,000 a ton last month, the highest level since July 2008.
The widespread energy crisis in China has raised fears of slowing growth and demand as the government focuses on reducing the consumption of energy-intensive industries to reduce the impact on households.
* Aluminum smelters can account for up to 7% of China’s total energy consumption, analysts say, and up to 40% of the Asian country’s metal production costs can be explained by energy.
* “The aluminum story is by no means over. Aluminum consumption may be slowing in China, but the rest of the world is still running short,” said one of the fund managers.
* On the other hand, oil prices improved by 1% to $9,225 per ton, supported by lower inventories.
* In other base metals, it rose 1.3% to $3,022 per ton. Lead is up 0.8%, at $2,159; Tin rose 0.7% at $34,095; It advanced 0.6% to $18,075.
(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)
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