Aluminum mill prices increased for most grades during the week in tandem with the LME Aluminium market. Scrap aluminum mill spreads stabilized with slight upward or downward movements in specific grades.
Mills remain concerned about the continued tightening of scrap flows moving into the winter season and the new rounds of restrictions being issued by many states across the US to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The spread for mill-grade 1100 & 3003 clips widened by 0.2¢/lb to 4.4¢/lb under the three-month LME Aluminium contract on Tuesday, while the weekly Davis Index for the grade increased by 0.9¢/lb to 85.7¢/lb delivered US consumer. The Davis Index for 5052 also rose by 0.9¢/lb to 88¢/lb delivered, with the spread widening by 0.1¢/lb at 2¢/lb, under the three-month LME Aluminium contract.
The spread for scrap 6063 weakened by 2¢/lb to 4.1¢/lb under the three-month LME Aluminium contract, while the index for the grade declined by 3¢/lb to 86¢/lb delivered US consumer. On the other hand, the weekly spread for mill-grade MLC narrowed by 0.3¢/lb to 26.8¢/lb, while the index for the category climbed by 4.1¢/lb to 62.8¢/lb delivered US consumer.
The three-month LME Aluminium contract closed higher by $20/mt at $1,981/mt on Tuesday from $1,961/mt on Nov 17.
Increasing freight costs, concerns over supply tightness, and the rise in COVID-19 infections continue to push aluminum prices higher. Consumers are willing to pay a higher price to fill their inventory gaps and entice sales into facilities with credit challenges.