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Mill-grade aluminum scrap prices inch higher

Keywords: Tags  mill-grade aluminum scrap, LME, London Metal Exchange, aluminum-copper radiators, used beverage cans, UBCs, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Prices for mill-grade aluminum scrap have moved higher, in step with recent increases on the London Metal Exchange.

Prices for 5052 segregated low-copper alloy clips rose to 89 to 91 cents per pound Aug. 19 from 88 to 90 cents previously, 3105 clips moved up to 80 to 82 cents per pound from 79 to 81 cents, the range for mixed low-copper alloy clips tightened to 78 to 79 cents per pound from 77 to 79 cents and painted siding inched up to 75 to 77 cents per pound from 74 to 76 cents.

Meanwhile, smelter-grade aluminum scrap remained mostly steady, with market participants saying that despite upticks on the LME, demand was being outpaced by supply.

"I think demand is pretty good, but at the same time there is enough material to supply that demand," one scrap trader told AMM. "There is material out there and it doesn’t have a whole lot of places to go. People aren’t really chasing it. I just don’t see a lot of scrambling for material right now."

Prices for aluminum-copper radiators slipped to $1.60 to $1.65 per pound from $1.62 to $1.67 previously, but aluminum used beverage cans (UBCs) moved up to 72 to 74 cents per pound from 71 to 73 cents.

One UBC buyer said that volumes were steady, and he was not looking to ramp up his purchasing activity until the end of summer. "Our volume is fine, but we really do not want a lot quite yet," he said. "We are still out a ways on appointments and holding back just a little on price."

The primary aluminum cash contract on the LME ended the official session Aug. 19 at $1,872.50 per tonne (84.9 cents per pound), up 1.6 percent from $1,842.50 per tonne (83.6 cents per pound) Aug. 15.

All other secondary grades were unchanged.

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