US domestic secondary aluminum scrap prices fell on Wednesday after some smelters retreated from the market amid volatile trading prices.
The weekly Davis Index for old sheet dropped by 1.4¢/lb to 67.9¢/lb delivered US consumer while old cast decreased by 1.4¢/lb to 68.6¢/lb delivered. Secondary MLC settled at 75.4¢/lb delivered, up by 0.4¢/lb, being one of the few grades to hold in a bleak market. The Davis Index for painted siding (secondary) fell by 0.5¢/lb to 70.5¢/lb delivered. High-grade turnings rose by 0.8¢/lb to 65.8¢/lb delivered.
The official LME Aluminium cash price settled Wednesday at $2,416/mt ($1.095/lb), down by $38.5/mt from Jun 16.
Zorba prices slipped by 0.3¢/lb to 62.7¢/lb amid ample availability of shredded scrap. However, the index for Twitch jumped by 3.3¢/lb to 77.3¢/lb after prices rose due to a spike in export despite the slowdown in the domestic auto industry. With low-grade scrap being rejected, Chinese buyers are now buying Twitch in bulk. A US exporter indicated that most of its produce is now headed to Asia due to much better pricing. Local disruptions in freight also have a big role to play in this.
Most smelters are buying small volumes or none at all on imminent maintenance shutdowns. Besides, the recent wave in LME prices has sent the market into shock, with no one sure about where prices will go. Thus, a wait-and-watch approach has been reinstated just like a month ago when such volatility was seen. The volatility on the LME has been due to Chinese state reserves being released. Buyers affirm that pricing will remain at these levels until early winter when the market begins to tighten and prices go up to match.