NEW YORK Secondary aluminum wheels refuse to budge from a free-market price point well above the cost of primary aluminum on the London Metal Exchange, with strong competition for the item keeping prices high.
Scrap traders continue to put aluminum wheels in a range of 86 to 88 cents per pound, even though the LME cash price ended Fridays official session at $1,860 per tonne (84.4 cents per pound). Aluminum wheel prices remained unchanged even when the LME cash price fell as low as $1,810.50 per tonne (82.1 cents per pound) on June 26, although they are down from 94 to 96 cents per pound reported in late May.
Scrap traders told AMM that consistent demand for the item has kept prices stable and high.
"With the market being down the price hasnt moved much. Its obviously an item theres demand for," one buyer said.
"There are a bunch of guys out there who use nothing but wheels, so no matter what the price is, theyre paying it," a second buyer said.
Aluminum wheels have been trading at a premium to the LME cash price for most of this year, with traders reporting that it has become a popular item due to its reliability in producing a 356.1 alloy.