NEW YORK Free-market
aluminum scrap and alloy prices dropped almost across the board
Monday as the London Metal Exchange alloy contract held below
the symbolic $2,000-per-tonne mark.
Old sheet was one of the few
unchanged items at 72 to 74 cents per pound, with old cast
dropping to between 75 and 77 cents per pound from between 76
and 78 cents per pound Thursday, and used beverage cans
dropping to between 72 and 74 cents per pound f.o.b. shipping
point from between 74 and 76 cents per pound previously.
A380.1 prices also dropped to
between $1.06 and $1.07 per pound from between $1.07 and $1.08
per pound Thursday, with producers saying that $1.08 has
effectively become a "quote price."
Traders cited the LMEs
recent decline as the main factor in the scrap price
correction. The LMEs North American special aluminum
alloy contract (Nasaac) cash price closed the official session
at $1,977 per tonne (89.7 cents) Tuesday, down 1.2 percent from
$2,000 per tonne (90.7 cents per pound) Friday.
"The LME is still softening up;
thats going to keep driving prices down," one alloy
"Our fortunes are in the hands
of Europe," a second alloy producer said.
With alloy prices falling in
line with scrap price drops, alloy producers said they are
continuing to feel pressure on their margins.
"The margins are still really
squeezed; with the current scrap market, A380.1 should be $1.09
per pound," a third alloy producer said.
Increased scrap flows, however,
are expected to relieve some of that pressure in the coming
"I think as we get closer to the
summer months, itll loosen up. Some of the auto plants
will start shutting down, so there wont be as much
pressure to push for scrap," the first alloy producer said.
"Scrap is becoming a little more
available," the second producer agreed. Scrap prices
"didnt go down as quickly as ingot did, but theyre