NEW YORK Smelter-grade aluminum scrap prices remained mostly steady during the past week, as limited volatility on the London Metal Exchange coupled with tepid trading activity has led to a "wait and see" attitude among buyers and sellers, traders said.
Prices for aluminum used beverage cans (UBCs) inched up to 68 to 70 cents per pound Sept. 26 from 67 to 69 cents and aluminum-copper radiators rose to $1.61 to $1.66 per pound from $1.60 to $1.65 per pound.
Prices for mill-grade aluminum scrap also moved higher, in step with a slight LME uptick.
Prices for 5052 segregated low-copper alloy clips rose to 84 to 86 cents per pound Sept. 26 from 83 to 85 cents previously, 3105 clips to 76 to 78 cents from 75 to 77 cents, mixed low-copper alloy clips to 73 to 75 cents from 72 to 74 cents and painted siding to 71 to 73 cents from 70 to 72 cents per pound previously.
The primary aluminum cash contract on the LME ended the official session at $1,761.50 per tonne (79.9 cents per pound) Sept. 26, up slightly from $1,754.50 per tonne (79.6 cents per pound) Sept. 23.
All other secondary grades were unchanged.
Prices for twitch, or high-quality nonferrous auto shred, this past week also rose a penny on the low end to 79 to 80 cents per pound from 78 to 80 cents previously, as market players said strong demand from the automotive sector had caused sellers to take a harder line with price quotes (amm.com, Sept. 26).
Sellers of twitch have seen an unexpected increase in consumption over the past two weeks, one trader said. "I got a call from someone who said he had run through his loads sooner than he thought," he said. "I guess the auto guys are running really hard and demanding more material than was initially forecasted."