NEW YORK Prices for deoxidized aluminum weakened in July as slowing demand from steel mills caused heavy price competition among producers, sources said.
Sales in the first half of the month hovered around 95 to 97 cents per pound, most producers said. However, those numbers weakened in the second half of the month due to panic selling, sources said.
"The price was off 3 cents (per pound) from the previous month for no good reason. We started off in the 96-cent range and it drifted down as low as 93.5 (cents) by mid-month," one deox producer said. "We couldnt come out at those levels and we didnt sell a lot as a result. We are still seeing reasonably tight scrap, and at 93.5 cents its a break-even situation. You have some players that had to come to the table and discount to get some business, but we were not one of them."
A second producer said he didnt sell large volumes, but most sales were completed at around 96 cents per pound. "We are not going to participate at low numbers," he said. "Well go in and out depending on market conditions. Losing money is not an option."
"We cant sell at below-market prices," a third producer said. "We will continue to quote, but there is no way we can sell at anything below 95 cents. Its simply not economically feasible."