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Twitch, secondary alloy prices inch up

Keywords: Tags  Twitch prices, automotive shredded scrap, mill-grade aluminum scrap, Nasaac, LME, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Free-market prices for nonferrous automotive shredded scrap, or "twitch," have risen amid tight supply, according to producers and buyers, with mill-grade aluminum scrap prices seeing strong demand from major consumers.

"Metal is very tight and nothing is coming in at this point," one twitch producer said.

AMM’s twitch prices rose to a range of 75 to 77 cents per pound Monday from 75 to 76 cents previously.

A major consumer of the item said it is paying up to 77 cents per pound. Twitch has traded within a range of 74 to 75 cents per pound for most of August.

Meanwhile, secondary alloy prices also moved up this week as producers pursued higher numbers following last week’s bump on the London Metal Exchange. Prices for 319.1 rose to $1.03 to $1.05 per pound from $1.02 to $1.04 previously, while A360.1 and A413.1 both moved up to $1.06 to $1.07 per pound from $1.05 to $1.07 per pound.

The cash North American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) closed the LME’s official session at $1,861 per tonne (84.4 cents per pound) Tuesday, up 0.9 percent from Friday’s close at $1,843.50 per tonne (83.6 cents per pound) and the highest official close since July 20, when the contract reached $1,865.50 per tonne.

Mill-grade scrap prices also rose slightly at the start of this week due to strong demand from major consumers, with painted siding moving up to a range of 72 to 74 cents per pound from 71 to 73 cents, and mixed low-copper clips rising to 76 to 77 cents per pound from 75 to 77 cents.

"I think they will come up a little further. They seem to be more active on the buying side going into September," one seller said, adding that he expects demand for aluminum scrap to rise further following last week’s rise in the Midwest P1020 aluminum premium (, Aug. 24).

"Prime is not readily available, so they’re reaching more for the scrap," the seller said. "They’re all hungry and there aren’t enough pounds out there."

The seller added that 5052s have become a particularly popular item.

A second scrap dealer echoed the comment, noting that he has made regular sales to a large primary and scrap buyer who has become "very aggressive" in pursuing 5052s.

Many traders said market activity was slow Monday, with the LME closed for a U.K. public holiday.

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