NEW YORK Deoxidized aluminum prices have inched higher over the past month, producers of the product said, but some sellers noted increased headwinds from smaller producers who are continuously undercutting the market.
Several sellers of deox told AMM that they had missed the bulk of January business by holding the line on quotes above $1 per pound.
"We only filled a few orders in the 97- to 98-cent range," one seller said. "Our cost is $1 flat. We were getting steel mills offering ridiculously low prices, and we just cant do it. They go around asking everybody for lower and lower prices until they find the cheapest."
Other sellers had similar complaints.
"There are a lot of deox producers who dont have the flexibility to produce alloys. ... Those guys tend to bring the entire market down, because thats all they sell," a second seller noted.
"We didnt get much spot business quoted," a third seller said. "Deox on the whole has been kind of an undervalued market as of late. If the price is too low, we just wont sell. We were hearing 97.5 to 99 cents per pound. We simply cant convert scrap at those prices."
Despite a noticeable increase from December, January prices were still too low to maintain profitability, the second seller said. "January spot prices have certainly come up from December," he said. "We were hearing horror stories of people quoting 2 to 3 cents lower in December. We cant sell at those levels."