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US aluminum scrap prices boosted by LME

Keywords: Tags  Aluminum scrap, LME, Comex, A380.1, Aluminum copper radiators, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Most prices for smelter-grade aluminum scrap increased July 11, supported by strong demand and upward movement on the London Metal Exchange.

Prices for secondary smelters’ mixed low-copper clips strengthened to 71 to 73 cents per pound from 70 to 72 cents at the beginning of the week, 1-1-3 sows increased to 75 to 77 cents per pound from 74 to 76 cents and painted siding rose to 69 to 71 cents per pound from 68 to 70 cents, while the range for old sheet widened to 67 to 69 cents per pound from 67 to 68 cents.

Responding to recent bumps on Comex and robust demand from international consumers, aluminum-copper radiators moved up to $1.63 to $1.68 per pound from $1.60 to $1.65 previously.

U.S. aluminum producers’ used beverage can (UBC) prices increased to 71 to 72 cents per pound from 69 to 71 cents.

Nonferrous auto shred, or twitch, strengthened to 78 to 80 cents per pound from 75 to 77 cents, as participants said material was beginning to flow more rapidly.

“Metal is starting to flow—even with ‘Operation Green Fence’ still in effect (in China)—because people are starting to understand what can and cannot go out of the country. There is no longer an oversupply of twitch because zorba is beginning to move,” one twitch seller told AMM (, May 14).

The primary aluminum cash contract on the London Metal Exchange ended the official session July 11 at $1,800.50 per tonne (81.7 cents per pound), up 3.7 percent from $1,736.50 per tonne (78.8 cents per pound) July 8.

Prices for mill-grade scrap also strengthened as demand increased, market participants said. Prices for 5052 segregated low-copper alloy clips moved up to 86 to 88 cents per pound from 84 to 86 cents, 3105 clips increased to 78 to 80 cents per pound from 76 to 78 cents, mill-grade mixed low-copper alloy clips moved up to 76 to 78 cents per pound from 74 to 75 cents and painted siding increased to 73 to 75 cents per pound from 71 to 73 cents.

Meanwhile, secondary alloy tags continued to hold steady. A380.1, which had weakened 4 to 5 cents over the past four weeks, remained unchanged at $1.01 to $1.03 per pound, with several producers reporting sales around $1.02.

“The margins are paper-thin at these levels but we need to keep the metal moving, and breaking even is better than not losing money,” one producer source said.

Alloy 319.1 held at $1.07 to $1.09 per pound, 356.1 at $1.08 to $1.10 and low-copper A360.1 and A413.1 alloys at $1.08 to $1.10. All other secondary grades were unchanged.

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