NEW YORK Most aluminum
scrap grade prices declined Feb. 28, with market participants
telling AMM that weakening exchange
prices coupled with recent turmoil overseas were beginning
to take a toll on secondary markets.
Prices for 5052 segregated
low-copper alloy clips fell to 92 to 94 cents per pound from 94
to 96 cents Feb. 25; 3105 clips declined to 83 to 85 cents per
pound from 85 to 86 cents; mill-grade mixed low-copper alloy
clips weakened to 81 to 82 cents per pound from 82 to 84 cents;
and the range for painted siding narrowed to 77 to 78 cents per
pound from 77 to 79 cents.
The cash primary aluminum
contract on the London Metal Exchange ended the Feb. 28
official session at $1,960 per tonne (88.9 cents per pound),
down 2.2 percent from $2,004 per tonne (90.9 cents per pound)
"Automotive and housing seem(ed)
to be going strong, things were looking upthen everything
starts to go the other way," one mill-grade seller said.
"Its pretty frustrating. Either way, when prices come
back, which I think they will, people are going to have pay the
Meanwhile, prices for most
secondary smelters grades also followed terminal markets
down, sources said.
Prices for mixed high-copper
clips fell to 76 to 78 cents per pound Feb. 28 from 77 to 79
cents previously; mixed high-zinc clips weakened to 69 to 71
cents per pound from 70 to 72 cents; 1-1-3 sows moved to 78 to
80 cents per pound from 79 to 81 cents; painted siding fell to
73 to 75 cents per pound from 74 to 76 cents; old sheet slipped
to 72 to 74 cents per pound from 73 to 75 cents; and high-grade
turnings and mixed-grade turnings each weakened by a penny to
72 to 74 cents and 66 to 68 cents, respectively.
Aluminum-copper radiators fell
to a range of $1.75 to $1.80 per pound from $1.78 to $1.83, and
used beverage cans fell to 75 to 77 cents per pound from 76 to
"Despite lower markets, scrap is
still tight," one scrap trader said. "If there were not a
shortage of primary aluminum, I think we would see secondary
markets falling even lower."
The LMEs cash North
American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) ended the
Feb. 28 official session at a 30-day low, closing at $1,845 per
tonne (83.7 cents per pound), down 2.4 percent from $1,890.50
per tonne (85.7 cents per pound) Feb. 25.
Reacting to the overall weakness
in terminal markets, some aluminum alloy prices declined Feb.
28, with market sources telling AMM that sellers are
still trying to hold the line on prices.
The price range for 319.1
widened to $1.09 to $1.11 per pound from $1.10 to $1.11
previously; 356.1 fell to $1.11 to $1.12 per pound from $1.12
to $1.13; and A413.1 slid to $1.10 to $1.12 per pound from
$1.11 to $1.12.
"If the LME stays down long
enough, alloy prices will start to fall more dramatically," an
alloy producer told AMM. "There is still strong demand
for ingot, but scrap has been very competitive and spreads are
still very narrow."
All other secondary scrap grades