FOCUS: Australia’s exemption from US import duties draws mixed responses from Asian aluminium market

Australia's exemption for forthcoming US aluminium import tariffs have drawn mixed responses from the Asian aluminium market, with some sources suggesting this could lead to good western aluminium supply tightness in the region while others downplayed any possible impact on premiums.

US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had both tweeted on March 9 that the US will not impose import tariffs on Australian aluminium and steel. Australia joins Canada and Mexico as the countries so far exempted from import taxes of 10% for aluminium and 25% for steel that the US will impose after Trump signed off on the tariffs on March 8. Australia’s exemption could see Australian aluminium producers diverting production to the US from Asia should US aluminium premiums continue to rise, some sources said. “The US is not a traditional destination for Australian metal but [Australian producers] will target the US market if premiums are better there. This might mean that Asia could have a shortage of good western material,” a Singapore-based trader said. American Metal Market assessed the US P1020 spot premium at 16.5-17.5 cents per lb on Tuesday,...

Published

Vivian Teo

March 12, 2018

12:05 GMT

Singapore