* Aluminium surges 2.8 pct to session peak of $1,943/T
* Expectations for shrinking Chinese supply drive up prices
* LME/ShFE arb: tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2 (Updates with official prices)
By Jan Harvey
LONDON, July 13 (Reuters) - Aluminium rose nearly 3 percent on Thursday as concerns over potential supply curbs in number one producer China sparked a rally in the metal.
Talk that more capacity cuts were on the way in China fed into broader-based concerns over slowing output to push prices higher, analysts said. An industry association said last month that China will launch a crackdown to curb illegal expansion of aluminium capacity.
“This is all about the looming cutback to Chinese supply growth, due to both the current investigation into illegal capacity, and in the medium to longer term the expected slowdown in Chinese capacity growth,” Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said. “Demand is not the issue — it’s all about supply.”
London Metal Exchange warehouse inventories hit their lowest since 2008 this week.
* ALUMINIUM PRICES: Three-month LME aluminium was untraded in official midday rings, but was last bid up 2.1 percent at $1,928 a tonne. Earlier it hit a peak of $1,943.
* INVENTORIES: Aluminium stocks in LME warehouses MAL-STOCKS fell another 6,525 tonnes, data on Thursday showed, taking them back towards this week’s near nine-year low.
* RUSAL: Russian aluminium giant Rusal expects the global aluminium deficit to widen to between 1.7 million tonnes and 1.8 million tonnes in 2018 from 1.3 million tonnes in 2017, Deputy Chief Executive Oleg Mukhamedshin said.
* COPPER PRICES: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was also untraded in the official rings, and was last bid 0.2 percent higher at $5,918 a tonne.
* IMPORTS: China’s imports of copper and copper products for June were unchanged with May at 390,000 tonnes, according to Reuters calculations based on official data, reflecting a decline in refined imports this year.
* COLLAHUASI: Chilean copper mine Collahuasi, a joint venture of Anglo American and Glencore will cut 115 jobs, including executives, as part of a plan to boost efficiency amid low prices for the metal.
* ZINC: LME zinc was down 0.2 percent at $2,826 a tonne in official midday trading, having climbed to its highest in more than three months on Wednesday on falling stocks in exchange warehouses, shortages and stronger demand from China.
* INVENTORIES: Zinc stocks in LME warehouses fell another 3,450 tonnes to 270,225, and are down more 35 percent since the start of the year. MZNSTX-TOTAL
* OTHER METALS: LME lead was down 0.5 percent at $2,316 a tonne in official rings, while tin was 0.1 percent lower at $19,875 a tonne and nickel was up 0.2 percent at $9,230.
Reporting by Jan Harvey; additional reporting by James Regan in Sydney; editing by Susan Thomas and Susan Fenton