NEW YORK Aluminum alloy
producers are continuing to come under pressure from tightening
margins, with free-market scrap prices holding firm while
A380.1 tags continue to weaken.
Old sheet prices were unchanged
at 73 to 75 cents per pound and old cast remained at 75 to 77
cents, while the range for A380.1 narrowed to $1.08 to $1.09
per pound on Thursday from $1.08 to $1.10 on Monday.
The London Metal Exchanges
North American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) cash
price closed Fridays official session at $2,056 per tonne
(93.3 cents per pound), unchanged from the previous day.
Alloy producers told
AMM Thursday that there were no longer any A380.1
transactions at $1.10 per pound.
"There are some smelters holding
out for that based on difficulty matching scrap to $1.08 to
$1.09 ingot. They would rather miss the business unless they
can at least get $1.10," one broker said.
The narrowing spread between
scrap prices and ingot prices has become a source of concern
for alloy producers, with tight scrap flows holding those
prices firm while ingot prices follow the downward trend of the
LME (AMM, April 9).
"Scrap is still crazy tight and
way too expensive in relation to the LME," an aluminum alloy
A second producer, who continues
to quote A380.1 at $1.13 per pound, said, "To have any chance
to make a margin, $1.13 is the minimum. Selling for lower
doesnt make sense based on where scrap prices are today.
Its still very tight and expensive."
"Something has to give," a
second broker said. "Either smelters are going to get the
prices up, or scrap has to get cheaper."