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US aluminum alloy prices hold steady

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


Secondary aluminum alloy prices held steady March 28, as producers said that the threat of reduced capacity wasn’t enough to compel consumers to raise quotes.

A380.1 was unchanged at $1.04 to $1.05 per pound, with one producer indicating that he had received calls from consumers who had been unable to get orders filled. “I figure if everyone shuts down capacity, I will be the one who’s selling,” he said. “I have had a couple calls requesting emergency loads, so obviously someone is not filling orders or supporting product.”

Also holding steady were 319.1 ($1.09 to $1.10 per pound), 356.1 ($1.11 to $1.12 per pound), and A360.1 and A413.1 (both $1.11 to $1.12 per pound).

The London Metal Exchange cash North American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) closed the March 28 official session at $1,790 per tonne (81.2 cents per pound), up 1.4 percent from a nearly three-and-a-half-year low of $1,765.5 per tonne (80.1 cents per pound) March 26 but down 1.6 percent from a week ago.

At the same time, prices for some mill-grade aluminum scrap weakened March 28, sources said.

Prices for 5052 segregated low copper alloy clips fell to 89 to 91 cents per pound from 90 to 92 cents March 21; 3105 clips held steady at 81 to 83 cents per pound; mill-grade mixed low-copper alloy clips decreased to 79 to 81 cents per pound from 80 to 82 cents; and the range on painted siding widened to 74 to 77 cents per pound from 75 to 77 cents.

The cash primary aluminum contract on the London Metal Exchange ended the March 28 official session at $1,881.5 per tonne (85.3 cents per pound), down .9 percent from $1,898.5 per tonne (86.1 cents per pound) March 25 and down 4 percent from $1,960 per tonne (88.9 cents per pound) a month earlier.

In contrast to downward trends on the LME, prices for most secondary smelters’ grades held steady March 28, as market participants indicated that sellers were attempting to hold the line on prices.

The only grade to register a change was used beverage cans (UBCs) which moved to a range of 76 to 77 cents per pound from 74 to 76 cents March 25. One UBC buyer told AMM that a major consumer of cans was “charging ahead of everyone” and paying a cent more than the rest of the market.

Aluminum-copper radiators were unchanged at $1.73 to $1.78 March 28, as several sources said that recent supply issues could cause prices to increase over the next week.

“Radiators are hot right now because there is nothing around,” one scrap trader said. “I have heard that some people are paying over $1.80 per pound.”

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