NEW YORK - Mill-grade aluminum scrap prices eased Feb. 21 on
the back of diminished volumes and weaker primary prices on the
London Metal Exchange, sources told AMM.
Prices for 5052 segregated low copper alloy clips fell to 96 to
98 cents per pound from 97 to 99 cents Feb. 19, while 3105
clips tightened to 87 to 88 cents per pound from 87 to 89
Mill-grade mixed lower copper alloy clips also narrowed to 84
to 85 cents per pound from 84 to 86 cents, while painted siding
fell to 78 to 80 cents from 80 to 81 cents.
The decrease in aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange
was primarily behind the decrease in mill-grade prices,
according to buyers and sellers.
The cash primary aluminum contract on the LME ended the
official session at $2,047 per tonne (92.9 cents per pound)
Feb. 21, down 0.9 percent from $2,065.50 per tonne (93.7 cents
pound) a day earlier and 1.4 percent below the Feb. 19 level of
$2,075.5 per tonne (94.1 cents per pound).
Despite the decline in prices buyers still maintain that supply
is thin on the ground.
Things are still tight. We are also seeing demand, which
usually picks up in the first quarter, one mill-grade
buyer said. When the market becomes range-bound like it
is now, sellers will wait for the price to go up before they
make a move.
Anyone with deep pockets will make a mountain and
hold, a second mill-grade buyer said.
Meanwhile, prices for some secondary aluminum alloy grades
increased Feb. 21, sources said.
Prices for 319.1 rose a cent to $1.10 to $1.11 per pound from
$1.09 to $1.10 previously. A360.1 tightened by a penny to $1.10
to $1.11 per pound from $1.09 to $1.11 per pound Feb. 19, while
A413.1 increased to $1.11 to $1.12 per pound from $1.10 to
The LMEs cash North American special alloy contract
(Nasaac) was flat for the third consecutive day, ending the
official session at $1,920 per tonne (87.1 cents per pound)
Prices for A380.1 followed Nasaacs trend and remained
unchanged at $1.04 to $1.06 per pound Feb. 21, although some
producers said that margins continue to be squeezed to such a
extent that production cutbacks could be warranted (
amm.com, Feb. 20
The gains in alloy prices are not enough given the cost of
scrap, producers told AMM
Were getting squeezed by scrap dealers, and
were still working on negative margins, one
secondary alloy producer said. Thankfully, prices have
been moving up over the last couple of weeks in spite of the
Prices for secondary smelters grades were largely
unchanged Feb. 21, with market participants noting steady
volumes and strong demand.
The only secondary grade that strengthened Feb. 21 was
nonferrous auto shred (twitch), which rose a penny to 83 to 85
cents per pound from 83 to 84 cents previously. All other scrap
grades were unchanged.
Reacting to a weeklong decline in Comex copper prices, aluminum
copper radiators tags dropped two cents to $1.78 to $1.83 per
pound from $1.80 to $1.85 Feb. 19.