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Zorba steady on solid China demand

Keywords: Tags  zorba, nonferrous scrap, auto shred, LME, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Export prices for zorba, a nonferrous auto shred, have remained relatively unchanged over the past two weeks as Chinese consumers continue to request a steady flow of material, U.S. exporters said.

Most exporters said prices for material with 94- to 95-percent metallic content are between 76 and 78 cents per pound, while material with 90- to 92-percent metallic content is steady at 73 to 73.5 cents per pound.

One exporter said he had received quotes from other international buyers, but maintained that Chinese consumers were paying a slight premium over buyers from other countries. “I have had a couple of Indian buyers come into the market over the past two weeks at about 3 cents lower than their Chinese counterparts,” he said. “There is no reason for me to take that type of business when China is still in the market.”

Cash aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange ended the official session Aug. 19 at $1,872.50 per tonne (84.9 cents per pound), up 6.4 percent from $1,760 per tonne (79.8 cents per pound) July 29.

A second exporter noted that despite recent gains in terminal markets, the price of zorba is often linked closely to supply and demand fundamentals. “Zorba usually doesn’t move with the LME,” he said. “If Chinese buyers say the market is soft and choose not to raise quotes in step with a rising LME, there is nothing you can do.”

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