NEW YORK Prices for
mill-grade aluminum scrap fell April 22 due to a decline in
tags on the London Metal Exchange.
Prices for 5052 segregated
low-copper alloy clips fell to 88 to 90 cents per pound from 89
to 91 cents, 3105 clips declined to 80 to 82 cents per pound
from 81 to 83 cents, mill-grade mixed low-copper alloy clips
fell a penny to 78 to 80 cents per pound from 79 to 81 cents
and painted siding narrowed to 74 to 76 cents per pound from 75
to 77 cents previously.
But sources indicated that
continued tightness in scrap and strong demand has prevented
tags from weakening to the same extent as the decline in
"I think mills are going to have
to start getting creative with what they buy, because a lot of
the grades they use are just not that available," one
mill-grade seller said. "There has been a recent push on
painted siding from the major mills, largely because its
a desirable component for their product mixes. With things as
tight as they are, I think they are going to have to look for
an alternative; maybe a mixture of good mixed low-copper clips
and used beverage cans (UBCs)."
The cash primary aluminum
contract on the London Metal Exchange ended the official
session at $1,841 per tonne (83.5 cents per pound) April 22,
down 1.7 percent from $1,874 per tonne (85 cents per pound)
April 18. LME aluminum prices regained a little ground April
23, with the cash contract ending the official session at
$1,858.50 per tonne (84.3 cents per pound).
Meanwhile, some grades of
smelter-grade secondary aluminum prices weakened April 22, as
sources said an ongoing supply crimp continued to support most
"I have never seen so much
resilience in scrap pricing," one secondary aluminum seller
said. "Obviously, its an issue of supply and demand at
Painted siding fell a penny to
71 to 73 cents per pound from 72 to 74 cents previously, high
grade turnings weakened to 71 to 73 cents per pound from 72 to
74 cents, and mixed-grade turnings declined to 65 to 67 cents
per pound from 66 to 68 cents April 18.
Aluminum-copper radiators also
fell to $1.65 to $1.70 per pound from $1.67 to $1.72, with
sources saying that major declines on Comex were taking a toll
on copper-based aluminum scrap grades.
producers UBC scrap prices eased to 75 to 77 cents per
pound from 76 to 78 cents.
Secondary alloy tags held steady
for the second consecutive week, with sources telling
AMM that despite a weaker scrap market alloy sellers
were holding the line on prices.
Most producers put A380.1 sales
at $1.04 to $1.05 per pound, as sources said that sales at
$1.06 per pound were no longer achievable.
All other major alloys were
unchanged, with 319.1 at $1.09 to $1.10 per pound, 356.1 at
$1.11 to $1.12, and low-copper A360.1 and A413.1 alloys were
steady at $1.09 to $1.11 per pound and $1.10 to $1.11 per
The LMEs cash North
American special aluminum alloy contract (Nasaac) closed the
official session at $1,755 per tonne (79.6 cents per pound)
April 22, unchanged from the April 18 price. However, the price
edged slightly higher April 23, ending the official session at
$1,770 per tonne (80.2 cents per pound).
Despite Nasaacs lack of
movement, sources said that large withdrawals of Nasaac metal
from LME-listed warehouses have been taking place.
"We are getting reports that
inventory levels have seen major declines over the past two
weeks," one alloy producer said. "Sure, some of that is
standard die caster use, but most of it is probably in reaction
to the decline of the contract. Either way, no one is going to
put money into Nasaac at the current level."
Nasaac stocks in LME-approved
warehouses declined to 132,480 tonnes as of the close of
business April 22 from 142,180 tonnes April 5, with the largest
withdrawals coming out of stores in Detroit and other
deliveries from Chicago, Baltimore and New Orleans