US aluminum export prices increased across all grades, on stronger demand from the Asian market. Better flows in the US have helped to stall the price increases, at least in the near-term.
The weekly Davis Indexes for both 95/2 Zorba and 99/3 Zorba climbed by 0.5¢/lb to 48¢/lb fas US port and 49.3¢/lb, respectively, on Thursday.
The demand for aluminum scrap has strengthened from Asian smelters and secondary alloys from India have started moving into China. Moreover, China has re-entered the market on the latest release on import quotas but buyers in the country are struggling to find shippers confident enough to move material into Chinese ports due to the uncertainty around the new classification for waste and scrap. Together, these factors are causing an uptrend in export aluminum prices.
The Davis Indexes for Taint/Tabor and Tense were both higher compared to last week, with Taint/Tabor increasing by 0.4¢/lb to 48.1¢/lb fas and Tense ticking up by 0.3¢/lb to 45.4¢/lb fas US port.
The Davis Index for aluminum-copper radiators increased by 1.1¢/lb, to $1.346/lb fas US port on the strong Comex market, which gave ground early this week and rebounded on better macroeconomic news.
The official three-month LME aluminum contract decreased by $15/mt to $1,776.50/mt on Thursday, from $1,791.50/mt on August 20.
Scrap prices in the aluminum export market are stronger than the US domestic market. Better flows in the US have increased the offers for brokers, allowing them to take advantage of more material in the short term. However, market participants do not expect the trend to last long considering the rate of increase in demand from Asia over the last two weeks.