US aluminum export prices trended lower over the week as some importers stopped buying into China until third quarter quotas are available for aluminum. Without demand from China, the aluminum markets gave ground on excess supply.
Both Zorba grades recorded the most significant loss over the week, each giving up roughly a penny per pound. The weekly Davis Index for 95/2 Zorba ticked down by 1.2¢/lb to 36.1¢/lb fas US ports and decreased by 0.9¢/lb for 99/3 Zorba to 40.6¢/lb fas US port on Thursday.
The index for Taint/Tabor decreased by 2.8¢/lb to 41¢/lb fas US ports and was lower for Tense at 42.8¢/lb fas US port, worse by 0.4¢/lb.
The index for aluminum-copper radiators increased by 0.2¢/lb, to $1.204/lb on the recent turnaround in the Comex market, better by 6¢/lb, at $2.65/lb as of June 25.
The official three-month LME aluminum contract decreased by $44/mt to close Thursday at $1,564/mt down from $1,608/mt on June 18.
Market participants concur that the new classification for Chinese scrap will be pushed back until a later date, with September 1 being the most likely target for the revision announcement. Once implemented, the sentiments are broad on the impact the reclassification will have on the market.
Some market participants believe the move will prop up scrap pricing for higher quality grades and leave material that was once considered recyclable without a home. Others see opportunities to take advantage of the change and are looking for ways to handle the leftover material deemed unfit for recycling in China.