US domestic secondary aluminum scrap prices fell on Wednesday following a significant drop in smelter demand.
The weekly Davis Index for old sheet decreased by 1.8¢/lb to 71.5¢/lb delivered US consumer while old cast inched down by 0.9¢/lb to 70.8¢/lb delivered. Secondary MLC settled at 75.7¢/lb delivered, down by 4.8¢/lb amid lower demand from both mills and smelters. The index for painted siding (secondary) declined by 3.5¢/lb to 74¢/lb delivered. High-grade turnings was the only grade to increase by 1.4¢/lb to 70.2¢/lb delivered.
The official LME Aluminium cash price settled Wednesday at $2,359.5o/mt ($1.089/lb), down by $43/mt from May 19.
Zorba prices rose by 1¢/lb at 63.5¢/lb delivered as suppliers raised offers due to lack of exports. Twitch fell by 1.7¢/lb to 77.3¢/lb delivered as some secondary alloys lacked sales, impacted by the semiconductor shortage in the automotive industry.
Most secondary smelter buyers were bearish about prices this week, intending to further lower bids as none of them are actively chasing scrap since they have inventories for the next few weeks. The semiconductor shortage continues to pull demand for auto diecasting alloys and affect sales at smelters, apart from trucking issues across the industry.
Market participants expect prices to continue dwindling in the near term due to adequate scrap availability and weak demand. Primary grades, bought by mills, continue to influence secondary prices for grades like siding and MLC.