US export aluminum scrap prices were rangebound on subdued trading due to a lack of demand from Asian countries.
The weekly Davis Index for Taint/Tabor increased by 1.2¢/lb to 75¢/lb fas US port while Tense prices rose to 72.8¢/lb fas, up by 0.5¢/lb. Prices for A356 wheels climbed by 1.5¢/lb to 92¢/lb fas.
The official LME Aluminium cash price closed Thursday at $2,422/mt ($1.098/lb), down by $54/mt from May 6.
Most scrapyards in the US have sold into the domestic market this week since export prices were almost 15¢/lb lower. In fact, some sellers tried to empty out their inventory to sell at the highest rate. Scrap flows into yards have reportedly slowed down. Exports to China and India are on hold while Hong Kong and Malaysia are still actively importing aluminum scrap from the US.
The weekly Davis Index for zorba 95/2 fell by 0.4¢/lb to 75.1¢/lb fas US port as Indian importers were quiet amid COVID-19 shutdowns. The index for zorba 99/3 rose by 0.7¢/lb to 76.2¢/lb fas US port. The market has capped off zorba pricing amid issues with freight and containers, despite the rally in LME prices for both aluminum and copper.
Importers are aware that the domestic market’s prices are too strong to compete with at present and are buying in small quantities. Besides, consumption in most Southeast Asian countries is low and inventories are building.
China’s new scrap specifications have put a quasi-hold on most new orders until there is more clarity on what grades are acceptable, with buyers opting for high-grade products like twitch and RSI for now.