NEW YORK Prices for scrap
aluminum wheels have fallen since the start of May as recent
downturns on the London Metal Exchange coupled with greater
supply have caused the wheel market to "soften slightly,"
Free-market transaction tags for
356.1 wheels are at 86 to 89 cents per pound, down from 87 to
91 cents May 2, traders said.
"We are seeing prices in the
mid- to high-80-cents range," one major wheel buyer said,
adding that he was quoting roughly 2 to 3 cents lower than
three weeks ago. "Availability seems to be improving and the
LME is getting weaker. Prices will probably continue to fall
until the LME shows improvement."
The cash primary aluminum
contract on the London Metal Exchange ended the official
session at $1,808 per tonne (82 cents per pound) May 28, down 1
percent from $1,814.50 per tonne (82.3 cents per pound) May
"I have seen prices as high as
90 cents, but the consensus seems to be that wheels should be
going for around 88 to 89 cents," a scrap trader said. "That
number is largely a reflection of supply and demand, and right
now there is plenty of supply."
Others said that recent
tornadoes across much of the Midwest could strengthen wheel
supply over the next few weeks.
"We can never be sure when
material from major, weather-related incidents will hit the
market," a second trader said. "Oftentimes, damaged cars have
to be assessed by an insurance adjuster; it can sometimes take
several weeks for a junk car to reach the scrapyard."
The weaker scrap market has led
356.1 alloy tags to fall during the past three weeks, with most
producers putting sales at $1.09 to $1.11 per pound, down from
$1.11 to $1.12 May 2.