US aluminum export prices were mixed across various grades after the recent uptick in prices failed to attract more material.
The weekly Davis Index for 95/2 Zorba was flat at 40.8¢/lb fas US ports and increased by 0.06¢/lb for 99/3 Zorba to 44.3¢/lb fas US port on Thursday.
The index for taint/tabor decreased by 0.1¢/lb to 40.2¢/lb fas US ports and was down by 2.2¢/lb for tense at 41.1¢/lb fas.
Aluminum-copper radiators moved up 1.6¢/lb, to $1.10/lb on the strength of the copper market. The Comex jumped by more than 10 cents from last week, breaking the $2.45/lb spot barrier, which many in the market cite as a barometer of positive economic restarts.
The official three-month LME aluminum contract increased by $46/mt to close Thursday at $1,515/mt from $1,469/mt on May 14.
Scrap supply has remained tight, according to market participants, and the recent uptick in aluminum export grade prices hasn’t had enough time to take hold in the US supply chain or effect any real change in scrap flows.
However, with automotive plants restarting this week for the big three carmakers and shredder feed pricing seeing an increase across the US, more scrap should become available if these restarts gain traction and local governments continue to reduce restrictions.
Market participants believe a more frequent evaluations of supply and demand will be necessary over the coming weeks as the current environment could create wildly volatile markets, especially given the uneven restarts from government-imposed shutdowns from countries across the globes that have revealed gaps and inefficiencies in the supply chain.