Prices for US secondary aluminum smelter scrap diverged due to lower volumes traded during the week. Scrap supply remains limited, but with many smelters shutting down for the holidays the volumes required to melt material have reduced, giving buyers a chance to catch their breath.
The weekly Davis Index for Zorba inched down to 69¢/lb delivered US consumer, lower by 0.2¢/lb, while Tweak and Twitch climbed by 1.4¢/lb and by 1¢/lb to 71.5¢/lb delivered and 78¢/lb delivered, respectively.
Tweak and Twitch continue to break records for pricing in 2020 and this week was no exception. Zorba prices declined primarily due to the lower volumes being traded over the week. All three grades still have significant competition from the export markets and that trend is expected to continue in 2021.
The index for Old Cast fell by 1.1¢/lb to 61¢/lb delivered US consumer on Wednesday, and Old Sheet was flat at 60.8¢/lb delivered.
The Davis Index for high-grade turnings increased by 1.8¢/lb to 56¢/lb delivered. In comparison, 2000/7000 series turnings moved to 49¢/lb delivered US consumer, better by 2.3¢/lb. Aluminum turnings volumes have remained tight through most of 2020, with the aerospace industry struggling due to the pandemic. Manufacturing shutdowns for the holidays and rising COVID-19 cases have further squeezed an already tight market, pushing the prices for turnings higher.
The three-month LME Aluminium contract closed at $1,997/mt on Wednesday, down from $2,008.50/mt on Dec 23.