The benchmark duty-paid premiums fell 3% to $158-168 per tonne on Friday March 9 from $163-173 per tonne the week before, while the duty-unpaid premium fell to $93-103 per tonne last Friday from $95-105 per tonne on Tuesday March 6.
US President Donald Trump’s sign off on blanket tariffs of 10% on aluminium imports, excluding imports from Canada, Mexico and Australia, primarily drove the declines in Europe.
The implementation of the tariff, set for March 23, has effectively closed the wide arbitrage between Europe and the US, market participants said.
The US Midwest aluminium delivered premium touched 18-19 cents per lb on Friday, a three-year high, but an impending duty makes it unfeasible to ship there.
"Are you going to ship to the US? No, you’re going to get hit with a 10 cent duty," one trader said.
“The implementation date was very important and supportive of Europe in particular because of the short voyage...