US export aluminum scrap prices declined for most grades on weak market sentiment. Taint/Tabor was the only exception, which increased on strong demand in South America and Asia over the week.
The weekly Davis Index for Taint/Tabor rebounded by 2.5¢/lb to 72.5¢/lb fas US port as activity picked up on the US East Coast. Tense prices declined by 1.9¢/lb to 69.8¢/lb fas. Prices for A356 wheels slipped by 1.3¢/lb to 94.2¢/lb fas amid volatility in the prime scrap market. The index for Talk fell by a penny to 2.04¢/lb due to muted trade because of Comex copper’s movements.
Buyers from India and Mexico have been active in the market over the past week. However, China and Malaysia are now moving to high-grade scrap such as RSI, Twitch, and spec ingots due to the strict regulations being implemented. With demand for Twitch weak in the domestic market, most of the current production is destined for these countries.
China auctioning its reserves was aimed at temporarily halting imports and the country seems to have achieved this goal given the rampant speculation despite the negligible volume released. While most participants believe it will not change any market dynamics, they are still sitting on the sidelines until the dust clears. Zorba buyers in China are fully stocked and are holding back purchases. The dip in LME Aluminium and Copper this week also gave them an incentive to drop prices further. ADC12 prices have trended flat this week.
The weekly Davis Index for Zorba 95/2 declined 1.8¢/lb to 67.7¢/lb fas US port while Zorba 99/3 fell by 1.9¢/lb to 68.6¢/lb fas US port. Offers are being heard at around 71-75¢/lb for both grades, with some confirmed deals for 95/2 at these levels. Still, the overall market sentiment for this material is dwindling as China retreats and India tries to lowball.
The official LME Aluminium cash price closed Thursday at $2,397.50/mt ($1.09/lb), down $30/mt from Jun 17.