NEW YORK Prices for scrap aluminum wheels have fallen since the beginning of July as most buyers cut back on consumption in anticipation of annual summer shutdowns, according to industry sources.
Free-market transaction prices for 356.1 wheels are 84 to 87 cents per pound, down from 85 to 88 cents July 8, traders said.
"We are quoting rims at 85 cents and dropping to 84 cents," one major wheel buyer told AMM. "We are getting our fill of rims, and the primary prices are too low for us to sell any significant amounts of spot 356.1. We no longer need to push to get the rims into the plants."
The primary aluminum cash contract on the London Metal Exchange ended the official session July 29 at $1,760 per tonne (79.8 cents per pound), down from $1,784.50 per tonne (80.9 cents per pound) at the beginning of the week and fell further to $1,741.50 per tonne (79 cents per pound) July 30.
Despite the decline in wheel prices, 356.1 alloy tags have stayed relatively steady over the past two weeks, with most producers putting prices at $1.08 to $1.10 per pound.