NEW YORK Free-market old sheet aluminum and A380.1 prices have dropped, while most free-market aluminum scrap prices were largely unchanged.
Old sheet fell to 73 to 74 cents per pound Thursday from 73 to 75 cents per pound at the start of the week, while old cast was unchanged at 76 to 78 cents per pound.
A380.1 dropped to $1.07 to $1.09 per pound from $1.08 to $1.09 per pound, with industry sources confirming sales at $1.07 for the first time after weeks of speculation.
The London Metal Exchanges North American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) cash price closed the official session at $2,035.50 per tonne (92.3 cents per pound) Friday, down 1.4 percent from $2,065 per tonne (93.7 cents per pound) Tuesday, the highest level seen over the course of the week.
Industry sources said that the scrap market was largely being driven by Cleveland-based Aleris International Inc., which was believed to be pushing prices on certain items.
"We couldnt drop (our old cast price) with Aleris staying so high," one trader said.
A buyer from a major scrap consumer said the company had lowered its quote prices on old sheet by as much as to 2 cents per pound. "We think thats whats happening in the market and relative to where we see our position," he said.
However, the company raised its old cast quotes by 2 cents.
"Its a metal we like," the buyer said.
Meanwhile, alloy producers continued to bemoan tightening spreads, with a weakening LME failing to help their plight.
"It seems like scrap people are getting a lot more for their product than ingot producers are getting for theirs," one alloy trader said.
"Why people are using the LME as a basis is beyond me," a second alloy trader said. "Scrap prices support a much higher level. Shame on ingot producers for not getting it, and that includes me."