The weekly Davis Index for A380.1 increased by 0.7¢/lb to 1.177¢/lb delivered US consumer as terminal prices for all input metals like aluminum, copper, and silicon increased drastically over the past week. Market participants expect A380.1 prices to reach $1.20/lb by the end of May.
Secondary smelters have raised selling prices across the board to maintain cash flows among rising input costs, a trend that has been seen since the start of the year. Besides, extremely low NASAAC inventories have rid the market of a valid substitute for production alloys.
Almost every smelter reports a lack of labor, leading to a widening gap in meeting production demand. Historically high prices of aluminum scrap have also contributed to increased prices for secondary alloys.
The index for A356.1 rose by 1.9¢/lb to $1.292/lb delivered US consumer while A413.1 increased by 1.7¢/lb to $1.27/lb delivered. A360.1 climbed by 2.8¢/lb to $1.263/lb delivered. The index for 319.1 inched up by 0.2¢/lb to $1.242/lb delivered.
Ingot prices have been robust since pent-up demand is being exerted in all-consuming industries like household as well as lawn and garden, despite weak auto industry demand due to the semiconductor shortage. Air travel bans have led to an increase in car sales, with manufacturers unable to keep up. Automakers like Ford are now assembling units without chips, to be installed at the time of delivery.
The official LME Aluminium cash price settled Friday at $2,518.5/mt ($1.142/lb), up by $73.5/mt from Apr 23. Some market participants believe that this price will breach $3,000/mt this year.