The arbitrage window to ship aluminium to China has been widening since it opened on April 29, with Chinese importers standing to gain a profit of $63.59 per tonne on May 20 for every tonne of aluminium brought in, according to Fastmarkets calculations
. A month earlier, on April 20, the import arbitrage was at a loss of $22.94 per tonne.
Market participants said that the open arbitrage window could have pushed negotiations to start barely a month-and-a-half after the conclusion of second-quarter talks, with producers wanting to ride on the bullishness of Chinese aluminium premiums.
Offers were heard for the third-quarter MJP premium on Monday May 17 at $180-190 per tonne, with the very first offer heard on Monday at $185 per tonne - 24.6% higher than the cif MJP premium for the second quarter
, which settled at $148-149 per tonne.
Another offer was heard later in...