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Aluminum alloy prices steady in ‘spotty’ market

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

NEW YORK — Free-market aluminum scrap and secondary alloy prices were largely unchanged Thursday, with a flat London Metal Exchange and quiet trading activity combining to keep prices steady.

Used beverage cans (UBCs) widened to a range of 72 to 74 cents per pound (picked up) from 72 to 73 cents, while painted siding also widened to a range of 72 to 74 cents from 69 to 71 cents previously.

Old sheet dropped to a range of 68 to 70 cents per pound from 69 to 71 cents, while mixed clips also dropped a penny to a range of 70 to 71 cents per pound.

The LME’s North American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) cash price closed the official session Friday at $1,845.50 per tonne (83.7 cents per pound), down 1.6 percent from $1,875 per tonne (85 cents per pound) on Tuesday.

Scrap traders contacted by AMM said that activity was still slim as the industry slows down for the end of the year and holiday season.

"I think people out there are planning for year-end already. ... If they need something they’re buying it, we’ve had a lot of inquiries for prompt delivery. The rest is all about the first quarter of 2013," one scrap seller said.

"Buying is spotty. Some purchasing guys are doing significant amounts of poundage, some guys are totally dead," a scrap buyer said.

A second scrap buyer said that his company had moved its numbers back up to "competitive" levels, having previously lowered them to control buying. "We got our inventories back in line," he said.

Aluminum alloy prices were unchanged Thursday with A380.1 remaining at 99 cents to $1.01 per pound, 319.1 holding at $1.05 to $1.06 and 356.1 staying at $1.08 to $1.10 per pound.

A360.1 and A413.1 also continued to trade in a range of $1.06 to $1.08 per pound.

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