Foreign demand boosts US aluminium scrap prices

Most aluminium scrap prices rose in the United States this past week, and one of the biggest movers was aluminium-copper radiators, which found support from increased buying interest and higher Comex copper prices.

Fastmarkets’ assessment of the aluminium-copper radiators buying price, delivered to Midwest secondary smelters, jumped to $1.24-1.28 per lb on Thursday January 16, up by 5 cents from $1.19-1.23 cents per lb one week earlier. The most-actively traded March-delivery Comex copper contract settled at $2.847 per lb on January 16, up from $2.802 per lb one week earlier. Buying interest from China also contributed to firmer secondary scrap prices. “China is coming in and buying huge volumes of RSI [re-melt scrap ingot], and the price has gone up a lot. I’ve heard over 50 cents. A lot of it is them buying to ship overseas and taking advantage of arbitrage opportunities,” one US buyer said. In terms of domestic usage, China is importing RSI-grade aluminium - such as 1-1-3 sows - as a component of A380 secondary aluminium alloy because the chemical characteristics of the grades are similar. As a result, the Fastmarkets...


Jenny Stewart

January 17, 2020

22:50 GMT

New York