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Sellers stem aluminum scrap price fall

Keywords: Tags  aluminum scrap prices, aluminum alloy prices, aluminum ingot prices, LME, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Free-market aluminum scrap prices remain mostly unchanged as sellers hold onto material in the hope of riding out lower London Metal Exchange prices.

"Twitch" was the only secondary scrap grade to make a move, dropping to 79 to 81 cents per pound Thursday from 80 to 82 cents per pound previously.

The LME’s North American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) cash price closed the official session at $1,920 per tonne (87.1 cents per pound) Friday, down 0.4 percent from $1,927.50 (87.4 cents per pound) a week earlier.

Friday’s close is the lowest official Nasaac price since July 21, 2010, when the cash price also finished at $1,920 per tonne.

The low LME prices also led to declines in some grades of aluminum alloy, with 356.1 dropping to $1.12 to $1.14 per pound from $1.13 to $1.14 per pound previously, and A360.1 easing to $1.12 to $1.13 per pound from $1.12 to $1.14 per pound.

Traders told AMM that market activity continued to be quiet Thursday following a lull in trading earlier in the week, when the LME was closed due to a U.K. holiday (AMM, June 5).

"It’s a different attitude right now. I think a lot of people are quoting lower numbers in order not to buy," one scrap buyer said.

Indeed, a second buyer who had lowered quotes on most scrap items last week by 2 cents per pound told AMM on Thursday that quotes would be lowered further Friday "to slow down the buying."

A third buyer said that many companies were trying to avoid "long" inventory, with commodity prices falling across the board.

"Copper went down, steel is coming down. It’s not a time to take any risk," this buyer said.

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