Midwest aluminum premiums on steady ground

Oct 24, 2013 | 02:54 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  aluminum, Midwest premiums, P1020, Norsk Hydro, Ormet, London Metal Exchange, LME, Michael Cowden

CHICAGO — Midwest aluminum premiums continued to hold their ground this week, with market participants describing current price ranges as either stable or poised for a rebound.

Supporting premiums are a market contango that is bolstering demand from the financial community, tightness in some regions of the United States due to production shutdowns, more disciplined pricing and main Japanese port premiums attracting metal to Asia, market participants said.

The latter factor was noted during a recent earnings conference call by Oslo, Norway-based Norsk Hydro ASA. "If you look at the recent quotes of ingot premiums, they are down 15 to 20 percent compared to the highest recorded levels. But Japanese premiums are holding up around $250 per tonne (11.3 cents per pound)," president and chief executive officer Svein Richard Brandtz said. That could be due to the fairly tight ingot market in Asia and because the region....

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