The weekly Davis Index for A380.1 fell by 1.2¢/lb on Friday to $1.175/lb delivered US consumer following weaker demand and volatile terminal markets.
Most sellers reported sluggish spot trades over the week as diecasters’ limited production continued and automakers prepared for summer maintenance shutdowns. The semiconductor shortage is also causing extended cuts in production volumes and schedules, leading to a slump in demand. However, all factors point towards an uproar in Q4 2021, or even earlier, once the semiconductor situation is sorted.
The index for A356.1 rose by 1.5¢/lb to $1.385/lb delivered US consumer. The Davis Index for A413.1 ticked up by 2.7¢/lb to $1.382/lb delivered while A360.1 was up a penny to $1.373/lb delivered and 319.1 settled at $1.255/lb delivered down by 1¢/lb.
Smelters continue to report labor as the most pressing issue with some progressively slashing output since they are unable to hire plant operators amid growing attrition rates for this minimum wage role. As for freight, many are opting for intermodal transport (road-rail-road) to save on surging overheads. This is feared to become the “new normal” and smelters are now factoring the quadrupled costs into their upcoming budgets.
With these factors limiting production, and demand likely to overwhelm the market once the auto sector resumes full-scale production, most secondary ingots are poised for a big leap in pricing as supply will lag demand.
The official LME Aluminium cash price settled Friday at $2,374/mt ($1.076/lb), fallen by $116/mt from Jun 11.