NEW YORK U.S. export prices for zorba, a nonferrous auto shred, have weakened over the past week, with demand from China declining significantly in November, according to sellers.
Most exporters put prices down 1 cent on the high end from Nov. 13, with 94- to 95-percent metallic content material now at about 74 to 75 cents per pound and 90- to 92-percent metallic content material at 71 to 72 cents per pound.
"The export price for high-grade zorba delivered to China is around 74 cents per pound," a buyer at a major Chinese aluminum smelter told AMM. "Chinese buyers are slowing down in November because of weak demand. There is plenty of scrap available and we dont anticipate the flow will slow down in November."
Several exporters confirmed that demand from China had weakened in recent weeks. "Scrap dealers are telling me that China is taking minimum vs. maximum monthly quantities," one scrap trader said. "It appears theres a lull in the market, but that could pick up in a lower (London Metal Exchange) environment."
One exporter said that price negotiations had become relatively one-sided. "It has become more difficult to push the consumers on prices. Prices are off 1 to 2 cents per pound in recent weeks, along with aluminum and copper prices in general."
The holiday season could have some bearing on the recent slowdown, the scrap trader said. "Mainly, I think U.S. scrap dealers are reluctant to sell at lower numbers prior to the end of the tax year," he said, noting that demand usually spikes at the start of the new year.