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Secondary mill-grade aluminum scrap prices rise

Keywords: Tags  LME, aluminum scrap, Nasaac, A380.1, Nathan Laliberte

Secondary mill-grade aluminum prices continue to strengthen along with London Metal Exchange prices, with market participants citing tighter supply and higher demand.

Prices for 5052 segregated low-copper alloy clips moved up to a range of 97 to 99 cents per pound Feb. 4 from 96 to 98 cents Jan. 31, while 3105 clips rose to 86 to 88 cents per pound from 85 to 87 cents.

“Scrap is getting a little harder to come by,” one mill-grade buyer said. “Everybody feels a sense of tightness, but that always seems to happen in January and February.”

Mill-grade mixed low copper clips also trended with terminal markets, rising to 84 to 86 cents per pound from 83 to 85 cents, while painted siding increased to a range of 79 to 81 cents per pound from 78 to 80 cents previously.

The cash aluminum contract on the LME traded at $2,079 per tonne (94.3 cents per pound) in the official session Feb. 4, up 1.1 percent from $2,056 per tonne (93.3 cents per pound) Feb. 1.

Some secondary smelters’ aluminum scrap grades also increased with the LME Feb. 4.

Prices for secondary-grade mixed low copper clips moved up 1 cent to 78 to 80 cents per pound from 77 to 79 cents previously, while nonferrous auto shred, or twitch, rose to a range of 83 to 84 cents per pound from 82 to 83 cents Jan. 31.

“There are slight pressures on the scrap market right now,” a secondary buyer said. “Increased tightening, which we anticipate, will make sale prices tick up even further.”

The cash North American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) rose to a three-week high of $1,920 per tonne (87.1 cents per pound) in the LME officials Feb. 4, up 1.1 percent from $1,900 per tonne (86.2 cents) on Jan. 31.

Prices for A380.1, which had been relatively flat over the past week, tightened by 1 cent to a range of $1.03 to $1.04 cents per pound Feb. 4 from $1.02 to $1.04 cents previously.

“I think we will continue to see upward movement,” said a A380.1 seller. “We are seeing very robust sales right now, and I expect things to keep going strong. Smelters will continue to push to get higher prices for their products, especially in this market.”

All other secondary grades were unchanged.

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