US export aluminum scrap prices increased on Thursday following improved export activity and stronger demand from Southeast Asia. Climbing LME Aluminium prices also boosted the export prices.
The weekly Davis Index for Taint/Tabor declined by 0.8¢/lb to 71.7¢/lb fas US port, outpaced by Tense after months, which indexed at 72.7¢/lb fas, up by 2.9¢/lb. A356 wheels also jumped by 2¢/lb to 96.2¢/lb fas despite a lukewarm short-term automotive outlook. The index for Talk stood at $2.027/lb fas, down 1.3¢/lb on softer copper prices.
Strong demand from India and Mexico offset the absence of buyers from China and Malaysia as smelters started actively chasing scrap amid low inventories. Both the countries took advantage of the competition being out of the market and export prices finally catching up with domestic smelter rates to buy scrap from the US this week. In Europe, importers are buying in bulk to meet melting demand through July before the month-long smelter shutdowns in August.
The weekly Davis Index for Zorba 95/2 increased by 0.6¢/lb to 68.3¢/lb fas US port while Zorba 99/3 fell by a penny to 67.6¢/lb fas. Prices for 95/2 are expected to rise as on tighter domestic supply. However, Chinese and Malaysian smelters aren’t actively buying zorba anymore, causing a downtrend in the market. Some sellers have found it difficult to get good deals while buyers have lowered their bids by 2-3¢/lb from last week. Bids for 99/3 were heard as low as 65¢/lb while 95/2 offers were heard at 70¢/lb.
The official LME Aluminium cash price closed Thursday at $2,481/mt ($1.125/lb), down $83.50/mt from Jun 25.