US aluminum export prices were higher across most grades, on continued strong demand from Asia. Segregated alloys moved higher with smelters looking for cleaner known chemistry versus the wide range found in Zorba. India continues to move secondary alloys into other countries and Chinese demand for the material could continue that trend.
The weekly Davis Index for 95/2 Zorba fas US ports inched up by 0.3¢/lb to 52¢/lb while 99/3 Zorba remained at 52.8¢/lb fas.
The Davis Indexes for Taint/Tabor and Tense moved up, with Taint/Tabor inching up by 1.7¢/lb to 54.2¢/lb fas and Tense moving to 52.5¢/lb fas better by 0.3¢/lb.
The 6063 new bare scrap climbed by 1.7¢/lb to 77¢/lb fas US port, while A356 wheels were flat at 67¢/lb fas on Thursday after taking a big step forward last week. The Davis Index for aluminum-copper radiators decreased by 1.3¢/lb to $1.372/lb on higher supply.
China has stepped back into the market after releasing another batch of scrap import quotas but shipping lanes still present a problem for the Asian nation. As of October 15, 2020, no major shipping line is calling into a Chinese port. As a result, China could find it hard to capture a significant portion of the aluminum scrap market despite its domestic demand. For now, the Indian and southeast Asian smelters have found the shipping ban beneficial for their business.
The country has also delayed the release of guidelines for its waste reclassification at least twice and is now rumored to be set for January 2021.
The official three-month LME aluminum contract increased by $86/mt to $1,802/mt on Thursday, from $1,716/mt on Oct 1.