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Aluminum scrap prices still edging lower

Keywords: Tags  aluminum scrap prices, aluminum ingot, aluminum alloys, LME, Nasaac, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Free-market aluminum scrap prices continue to feel the impact of anxiety over the eurozone crisis and a decline in London Metal Exchange prices, trader sources said.

Old sheet prices fell to 72 to 74 cents per pound Monday from 73 to 74 cents per pound Thursday, while old cast was unchanged at 76 to 78 cents per pound. A380.1 tags dropped to $1.07 to $1.08 per pound from $1.07 to $1.09 per pound in the same comparison.

Alloy producers and traders told AMM that $1.09 had essentially become the "quote price" for A380.1, with sales now concentrated in the $1.07 to $1.08 range.

"We wouldn’t have a problem getting $1.10 if (the North American special aluminum alloy contract on the LME) was good, because demand is good," one scrap trader said.

The Nasaac cash price ended the LME’s official session at $2,012 per tonne (91.3 cents per pound) Tuesday, down 1.2 percent from $2,035.50 per tonne (92.3 cents per pound) Friday.

Despite a slowdown in activity due to the LME’s closure Monday for a bank holiday, many traders reported anxiety over the ongoing eurozone crisis, which is impacting financial markets worldwide.

"Everybody is sitting back to see what happens with the situation in Europe. People are discussing the possibility of a stronger dollar. If that occurs, we could see downward pressure on the LME and prices go down," one alloy broker said.

"If the euro drags down the LME, I think we’re going to see pressure on the market. Hopefully that will put some downward pressure on scrap prices too," an alloy producer said.

However, there was also optimism over news that Chrysler Group LLC, Auburn Hills, Mich., opted to forego its traditional summer production shutdown.

"Production levels are still good. I think May will be good, and June orders are looking good too," the alloy broker said.

"Flow feels like it’s getting better," a second scrap trader said.

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