US export aluminum scrap prices fell on Thursday as the market struggled, with buyers dragging prices lower. Tense continues to remain a cent above Taint/Tabor.
The weekly Davis Index for Taint/Tabor fell 2.1¢/lb to 70.7¢/lb fas US port while Tense prices dropped by the same amount to 71.7¢/lb fas. Prices for A356 wheels inched up by 0.3¢/lb to 90.3¢/lb fas. The index for Talk declined 4.2¢/lb over the week to $2.123/lb fas.
The official LME Aluminium cash price closed Thursday at $2,386.50/mt ($1.083/lb), down by $1.50/mt from May 27.
Exporter interest was piqued in the past week with a constant flow of bids being heard for scrap following signs of recovery in Asia. India has eased its lockdown and secondary smelters are now chasing scrap. That said, in both India and Korea, buyers seem to underquote the market for most grades, resulting in no actual sales. Adding to the list of regulated scrap importers, Malaysia may soon stop accepting lower recovery scrap, if reports by the Bureau of International Recycling come to pass.
Chinese smelters have raised ADC12 selling prices to Japan, while the latter has done the same, but not to the tune of $100/mt like the former. The Japanese auto industry appears to be recovering, with Honda reporting long strides in Q1 production. This could lead to an influx of scrap to India, China, and Malaysia. However, the latter two countries may not be able to buy some grades of scrap even if they require it. Chinese buyers are now reportedly buying Twitch instead of Zorba to meet the new standards.
The weekly Davis Index for Zorba 95/2 fell by 1.5¢/lb to 72.3¢/lb fas US port as buyers tried to find bargains. The index for Zorba 99/3 slipped by 0.7¢/lb to 72¢/lb fas US port. Rejections at Chinese ports are becoming a familiar concept now, so buyers are limiting quantities, in order to test waters.