US aluminum export prices varied over the week as LME sensitive scrap moved higher in line with the LME market. Traditional export grades started to push lower with softening demand.
The weekly Davis Index for 95/2 Zorba moved up by 0.6/lb to 72.5¢/lb fas US port. However, some market participants noted that bids moving forward were 2-3¢/lb lower than the above price, softening as the day progressed. The index for 99/3 Zorba was lower at 72.8¢/lb fas, down by 3.2¢/lb. Offers for Zorba began to flood the market, and some consumers have reacted faster than others, causing the split in pricing for the two grades.
The indexes for Taint/Tabor and Tense both moved down this week, with Taint/Tabor indexing at 66.3¢/lb fas, lower by 0.7¢/lb, and Tense moving to 66¢/lb fas, off by 1.3¢/lb.
6063 new bare scrap stepped up to 90.2¢/lb fas US port, better by 1.7¢/lb, while A356 wheels were better this week at 84.3¢/lb fas, higher by 0.8¢/lb. A rebounding LME market influenced both grades.
The official three-month LME Aluminium contract increased by $40/mt to $2,020.50/mt on Thursday, from $1,980.50/mt on Dec 31.
Lower demand is impacting the markets. With Japan not returning to the market for aluminum alloys yet, market players are working inventory down until a better demand trend emerges moving forward.