Prices for US secondary aluminum smelter scrap continue to benefit from tight supply. Smelters had hoped that supply would loosen up with better ferrous prices during the September trade. However, robust demand from the Asian markets continues to squeeze the volumes in the domestic market.
The weekly Davis Index for all the aluminum shredder grades delivered US consumers ticked up on Wednesday, with Zorba and Tweak each gaining 1.4¢/lb and 1.6¢/lb, respectively. Twitch increased by 1.4¢/lb. Zorba moved up to 46.5¢/lb delivered US consumer, while Tweak rose to 48.9¢/lb delivered. The index for Twitch moved up to 54¢/lb delivered on Wednesday.
The index for Old Cast increased by 1.2¢/lb to 46.6¢/lb delivered US smelters on Wednesday, and Old Sheet rose by 1.5¢/lb to 46.8¢/lb delivered US consumer. The Davis Index for high-grade turnings increased by 2.3¢/lb to 40.3¢/lb.
The three-month LME aluminum contract closed at $1,759/mt, down by $39/mt from $1,798/mt on September 16.
Export demand remains strong and will keep the pressure on the domestic market. The US’s supply will need to pick up significantly before scrap pricing relaxes against such high demand from the Asian markets.