NEW YORK Secondary aluminum prices held steady this past week as smelters reported limited scrap purchases and ingot sales.
Market participants said that the week between Christmas and New Years Day is traditionally light on trade. Only a few buyers reported some low-volume trading toward the second half of the week, and prices on those trades remained flat on all grades and are expected to stay that way until at least Jan. 1, barring any major moves on the London Metal Exchange.
"I came in today just to catch up on a few items," a buyer for one secondary aluminum smelter said Friday. "Our prices remain the same and we are doing minimal buying, which is fine for now."
A few consumers purchased healthy volumes the previous week to meet their needs until the new year, suppliers said. "(We) had a very good buying week. Wednesdays numbers were good, too," said a second source, who traded at unchanged prices this past week.
A buyer for another smelter, however, said that most suppliers also had stepped away from the market. "I havent gotten one call this week to bid on anything," he said Friday.
The mostly inactive market left old sheet prices at 72 to 74 cents per pound and old cast at 74 to 76 cents, unchanged from a week earlier, while nonferrous automotive shred (twitch) remained at 81 to 83 cents per pound.
Minimal movement in the terminal markets over the past week also left mill-grade aluminum scrap prices unchanged. Used beverage cans remained at 79 to 81 cents per pound picked up, while 5052 segregated clips stayed flat at 94 to 96 cents, sources said.
It also was quiet on the product-sales side. "No changes from last week due to holiday slowness," one ingot seller said Friday.
Prices for the benchmark alloy A380.1 stayed in a range of $1.02 to $1.03 per pound. Sources said that a few ingot makers were quoting $1.04 to $1.05 per pound, but no sales were reported at those levels.