US domestic secondary aluminum scrap prices leveled off on Wednesday following weak smelter demand and abundant scrap flows. Smelter shutdowns loom and most buyers are not looking to buy multiple loads.
The weekly Davis Index for old sheet rose by 1.3¢/lb to 69.3¢/lb delivered US consumer while old cast increased by 1.5¢/lb to 70¢/lb delivered. Secondary MLC settled at 75¢/lb delivered, down by 2.5¢/lb. The Davis Index for painted siding (secondary) fell by 0.5¢/lb to 71¢/lb delivered. High-grade turnings declined by 1.5¢/lb to 65¢/lb delivered.
The official LME Aluminium cash price settled Wednesday at $2,454.5/mt ($1.113/lb), up by $6.5/mt from Jun 9.
Zorba prices rose by 0.7¢/lb to 63¢/lb delivered despite an oversupplied market. Twitch was flat at 74¢/lb, due to sluggish diecasting demand because of the auto slowdown which shows little to no signs of early recovery.
Buyers remain cautious and out for a bargain as the summer shutdown at secondary smelters approaches. That said, mills are still active since they shut in the winters. Thus, some primary competitive grades like MLC and Siding are still seeing some upward pressure.
Freight continues to pull prices up, especially for “dirtier” grades since truckers are wary of hauling them. The lack of exports due to regulatory restrictions in other countries is also adding to the scrap inventories at yards, driving prices lower since dealers are willing to sell off at much lower prices just to clear their inventory. Prices look to be at the same level for the coming weeks until the maintenance period is over.