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Mill-grade aluminum scrap slips with LME

Keywords: Tags  aluminum scrap, LME, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Free-market mill-grade aluminum scrap prices have fallen in step with the London Metal Exchange, even as some secondary alloy sellers have reported a slight increase in sales volumes.

Cash primary aluminum prices settled Jan. 17 at $2,003.50 per tonne (90.9 cents per pound) on the LME, down 2.7 cents per pound from Jan. 14.

The lower LME aluminum price put downward pressure on mill-grade aluminum scrap prices, with prices for 5052 segregated clips falling to between 94 and 96 cents per pound from between 96 and 98 cents previously and prices for 3105 clips declining to a range of 83 to 85 cents per pound from 84 to 86 cents on Jan. 14.

Prices for mill-grade mixed low copper alloy clips (MLCs) decreased to 80 to 82 cents per pound from 81 to 83 cents previously, while painted siding tags dipped to 76 to 78 cents per pound from 77 to 79 cents.

“I haven’t seen a lot of post-holiday consumer scrap coming in,” one mill-grade buyer said. “Usually there is a pent-up flow of supply, but that was very short-lived this year.”

Used beverage cans (UBCs), which also trend with terminal markets, saw prices fall 3 cents to 76 to 78 cents per pound, while prices for all other obsolete grades of aluminum scrap preferred by secondary alloy makers were unchanged.

The cash North American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) followed primary aluminum tags lower to end the week, settling Jan. 17 at $1,850 per tonne (83.9 cents per pound), down 2.3 cents per pound from the Jan. 14 closing price. 

Despite Nasaac’s weakening, market sources said prices for A380.1 have remained unchanged at $1.02 to $1.04 per pound.

Meanwhile, 356.1 alloy prices widened by 1 cent to $1.10 to $1.12 per pound from $1.10 to $1.11 per pound previously, while A319.1 alloy tags widened to a range of $1.07 to $1.09 per pound from $1.08 to $1.09 per pound.

“Things seem to be edging up slowly,” one seller of 356.1 alloy said. “Volume is up and demand seems to be increasing.”

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