NEW YORK Prices for mill-grade aluminum scrap weakened July 25, in step with declines on the London Metal Exchange, as market participants indicated that slowing export demand combined with summer shutdowns could bring lower prices in the coming weeks.
Prices for 5052 segregated low-copper alloy clips decreased to 85 to 87 cents per pound from 86 to 88 cents previously, 3105 clips edged down to 77 to 79 cents per pound from 78 to 80 cents, mixed low-copper alloy clips fell to 74 to 76 cents per pound from 75 to 77 cents and painted siding slipped to 71 to 73 cents per pound from 72 to 74 cents.
One scrap trader told AMM that scrap prices were easing because of lower volumes. "Exports have been relatively quiet and demand from China seems to be slowing," he said. "Metal is coming into the yards faster than its going out."
The primary aluminum cash contract on the LME ended the official session July 25 at $1,784.50 per tonne (80.9 cents per pound), down slightly from $1,794.50 per tonne (81.4 cents per pound) at the beginning of the week and fell further July 26, trading at $1,761.50 per tonne (79.9 cents per pound).
Secondary alloy tags continued to stay steady, with sources saying that sales for August appeared to be holding at current price levels.
"I think people were expecting panic sales in August, but that has not happened," one alloy producer source told AMM. "Most plants are operating at 90- to 100-percent capacity with no immediate signs of cutting back."
Prices for A380.1 remained at $1.01 to $1.03 per pound and 319.1 at $1.07 to $1.09 per pound. Prices for 356.1, as well as the low-copper A360.1 and A413.1 alloys, were all steady at $1.08 to $1.10 per pound.
All other secondary grades were unchanged.