Fastmarkets assessed the premium for prime-quality billet delivered duty-paid on a spot basis into the Ruhr region with 30-day payment terms at $430-460 per tonne on Friday, down from $465-485 per tonne.
The German billet premium has fallen for two consecutive weeks with sellers having to conclude business mostly toward the lower end of the range - even for premium brands.
Participants said a weak automotive industry, a key application for aluminium billet, in Europe was one of the causes of the drop. New passenger car registrations in the European Union fell by 4.62% year on year in January, the fifth straight month of declines.
“Don’t forget, a lot of the billet goes into the transportation and car industry. I just don’t see the market there fundamentally,” one trader in Europe said....