Aluminum mill prices delivered US consumers remained strong over the week as the LME moved higher, working back to its highest point of $2062/mt for the year. The scrap aluminum mill spreads tightened up with some variations in different grades depending on the mills’ inventory positions.
The spread for mill-grade 1100 & 3003 clips was tighter at 2.6¢/lb under the three-month LME aluminum contract on Tuesday, better by 2.7¢/lb, while the weekly Davis Index for the grade increased to 90¢/lb delivered US consumer. The Davis Index for 5052 was higher at 93.6/lb with the spread tighter at +1.20¢/lb, above the three-month LME aluminum contract mark.
The spread for scrap 6063 was tighter by 3¢/lb at0.2¢/lb under the three-month LME aluminum contract, while the index for the grade increased to 90¢/lb delivered US consumer. The weekly spread for mill-grade MLC was tighter at 22.6¢/lb, better by 0.5¢/lb, while the index for the category rose to 69.8¢/lb delivered US consumer.
The three-month LME contract closed today at $2038/mt, up from $2007/mt on Dec 8, higher by $31/mt.
Aluminum scrap seems to become tighter every week. COVID-19 outbreaks and colder weather have slowed flows into the yards across the country. The export market is also applying pressure to the mill pricing, with Zorba pricing breaking 70¢/lb and moving higher. Mills are forced to pay higher prices to keep specific aluminum grades from being shredded.