Coronavirus shutdowns pull UK secondary Al market to 11-year low

European automaker and subsequent smelter shutdowns in the United Kingdom - enforced to halt the spread of the coronavirus - drove secondary aluminium ingot prices down in the region to an 11-year low on Wednesday March 25.

European carmaker closures to combat the virus, which started in earnest with Volkswagen’s Slovakia-site closure on Sunday March 15, have riled the secondary aluminium supply chain, exacerbating an already-weak UK spot market and leading to a slew of UK smelter closures.
Offers for secondary material subsequently dropped markedly in the week to Tuesday, with traders looking to capitalize on a weak market, sources said.
Domestic spot appetite for secondary aluminium ingots, typically smelted for car parts, weakened over the course of 2019 and into 2020 on the basis of poor automotive demand.
Carmaker closures have now excessively dampened prices, with all European automakers now shuttered until further notice.

“Most of the UK secondary aluminium industry has closed, such as auto part producer Castalum...

Published

Amy Hinton

March 26, 2020

11:35 GMT

London