NEW YORK Free-market aluminum scrap and alloy prices increased further Thursday with a rise in London Metal Exchange pricing as consumers look to optimize inventory levels moving into the holiday season.
Secondary-grade mixed low-copper clips moved up to 74 to 76 cents per pound from 73 to 75 cents previously, while the range for painted siding widened to 70 to 72 cents per pound from 70 to 71 cents.
Prices for 5052 segregated clips rose to 94 to 96 cents per pound from 92 to 94 cents, while 3105 clips increased to 83 to 85 cents from 81 to 83 cents.
The A380.1 price range widened to $1 to $1.02 per pound from $1 to $1.01, while 356.1 increased to $1.09 to $1.10 per pound from $1.08 to $1.09.
The LMEs North American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) cash price ended Fridays official session at $1,976 per tonne (89.6 cents per pound), up 3.2 percent from $1,915 per tonne (86.9 cents per pound) on Tuesday.
Alloy producers contacted by AMM said they were pushing prices higher with support from a rising LME and the resulting higher scrap costs.
"Im told right now that our cost with the price of scrap is $1.02, without freight or profit. ... But everybody is sitting on a lot of cheaper inventory," a producer source said.
"Last week you could have gotten 98 to 99 cents for A380.1, but it looks like its going to go up in the winter like it always does," a die caster said.
Meanwhile, scrap buyers said that the LME bump had promoted trading activity.
"With the move in the LME, things are moving. People are trying to get stuff before the end of the year. Theres been a lot of activity on the mill side," one buyer said.
"Were buying enough scrap that we need, though if theres some particular item we need were raising our numbers. Larger consumers may have to stretch a little bit more," a second buyer said. "It always slows down in December, but I think the first half of this December will still be pretty busy."