North American aluminum producers eye foreign sales

Nov 24, 2009 | 09:40 AM | Tom Jennemann

Skyrocketing physical aluminum premiums in Europe and Asia have prompted North American producers and traders to ship additional material overseas, according to market participants.

"The trade is certainly keeping a close eye on the premiums in Europe and Asia, which have both become a better play in recent weeks," a U.S.-based aluminum trader told AMM.

He said there had been a noticeable change in the flow of metal, with fewer U.S. imports from Russia and more exports leaving strategically located North and South American ports for European and Asian destinations.

Duty-unpaid aluminum premiums in Europe have increased to $52 to $70 per tonne, up 75 percent from July. The premiums spiked at the end of June, when Russia's United Co. Rusal sold 800,000 tonnes of primary aluminum to Glencore International AG, leaving the region short of spot material. Another sale of 500,000 tonnes to the Swiss trading company in September tightened the market again.....

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