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Mill-grade aluminum scrap follows LME lower

Keywords: Tags  LME, mill-grade aluminum scrap, Comex, A380.1, UBC, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Prices for mill-grade aluminum scrap moved lower July 29, in step with recent declines on the London Metal Exchange.

Prices for 5052 segregated low-copper alloy clips fell to 84 to 86 cents per pound from 85 to 87 cents previously, 3105 clips edged down to 76 to 78 cents per pound from 77 to 79 cents, mixed low-copper alloy clips fell to 73 to 75 cents per pound from 74 to 76 cents and painted siding slipped to 70 to 72 cents per pound from 71 to 73 cents.

Demand for mill-grade scrap is steady and prices are relatively predictable, according to one scrap trader. "Prices are following the LME penny for penny," he told AMM. "That could change if the supply and demand picture changes, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

The primary aluminum cash contract on the LME 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 it fell further July 30 to $1,741.50 per tonne (79 cents per pound).

Secondary alloy tags continued to hold steady, with producers indicating that last-minute orders were gaining popularity with consumers.

"We’re busy, but everything seems to be at the final hour," one producer source told AMM. "People seem pretty hesitant to go out beyond 30 days. I guess they are anticipating future uncertainty."

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.

Meanwhile, prices for smelter-grade aluminum scrap were mostly steady July 30, with market participants saying that tepid market activity was curbing price volatility.

"The summer doldrums are here," one scrap buyer told AMM. "Mills need the scrap but aren’t trying especially hard to get it."

Prices for aluminum copper radiators, which typically move with Comex, slipped to $1.62 to $1.67 per pound from $1.63 to $1.68 previously. The September Comex copper contract settled at $3.1075 per pound July 29, down from $3.1855 per pound July 25.

Aluminum used beverage cans (UBCs) moved down a penny to 71 to 72 cents per pound from 72 to 73 cents previously. All other secondary grades were unchanged.

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