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Aluminum scrap, alloy tags rise on tight supply

Keywords: Tags  aluminum scrap prices, aluminum alloy prices, aluminum ingot prices, aluminum, scrap, aluminum scrap, LME, Nasaac old cast

NEW YORK — Free-market aluminum scrap and secondary alloy prices rose Monday as buyers reported that scrap has become more difficult to purchase, with some dealers withdrawing from the market until 2013.

Old cast rose to a range of 74 to 76 cents per pound from 73 to 75 cents previously, while secondary-grade mixed low-copper clips increased to 75 to 77 cents per pound from 74 to 76 cents.

Meanwhile, 319.1 moved up to $1.07 to $1.09 per pound from $1.06 to $1.08, and 356.1 widened to $1.09 to $1.11 per pound from $1.09 to $1.10 and A413.1 tightened to a range of $1.09 to $1.10 per pound from $1.08 to $1.10.

Alloy producers told AMM they were continuing to quote $1.04 per pound for A380.1, although they still predominantly transacted at $1.02 to $1.03 per pound.

"I wouldn’t sell spot for less than $1.04 based on the replacement cost. Scrap seems to be getting more scarce," one alloy producer said. "Every year at this time, the dealers that have made money will hold onto scrap until the start of the new year. So I’d say we’ll start with some hefty sales in January."

The majority of scrap buyers contacted by AMM expressed similar views, reporting that both buyers and sellers were flitting in and out of the market.

"We had a couple of guys tell us they had a good year and they’re now waiting for the wintertime, when prices should be a little higher. You always get that at this time of year. But none of the majors have said anything like that," one buyer said.

"Maybe there’s a genuine shortage," a second buyer said. "A lot of metal was sold over the last couple of weeks."

However, a third buyer said his company is "not having any trouble buying."

The cash North American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) closed the London Metal Exchange’s official session at $1,970.50 per tonne (89.4 cents per pound) Tuesday, up 1.8 percent from Friday’s $1,935 per tonne (87.8 cents per pound).

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