FOCUS: Q4 MJP aluminium negotiations begin; contango, improving demand supportive

Aluminium producers have begun their negotiations for the fourth-quarter Japan aluminium benchmark premium, and participants told Fastmarkets they expect premiums to rise, albeit marginally.

The benchmark quarterly main Japanese ports (MJP) premium has fallen each quarter this year from $83 per tonne in the first quarter, to $82 per tonne in the second and $75-79 per tonne in the third quarter.
But an early offer from a producer in the market for fourth-quarter delivery was at $95 per tonne, over 20% higher than the previous quarter.
“We are bullish on the aluminium market currently but it seems the producers are way more bullish than we are,” a trader said.
The increased sentiment is linked to the strong contango on the London Metal Exchange’s cash/thee-month spread and a return in demand.
“The contango is now really supporting the MJP premium and international premiums keep increasing so sentiment could be bullish but in the domestic market, premiums are mostly stable with little movement,” a Japan-based trader said.

“I think the contango definitely...

Published

Karen Ng

August 27, 2020

16:41 GMT

Singapore