Price Volatility Hits Aluminum Index Again This Month

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MetalMiner Monthly Aluminum MMI Chart March 2013

With the exception of the Stainless Steel MMI® (to be published later this week), the Aluminum MMI® took the biggest hit, dropping four points to 94. This was a 4.1 percent fall month to month.

Prices fell across the board and across multiple geographies, including Europe, China and India. Falling LME prices weighed the complex down and only Korean semi-finished aluminum pricing provided any support.

MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns recently wrote an in-depth analysis of the aluminum market discussing the reasons behind longer-term weaker prices – essentially too much production and not enough demand. Yet the financing hijinks going on today still supports high Midwest premiums, which may give the impression of a well-supported aluminum market.

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More analysis on this month’s Aluminum MMI®, click below…

However, “the consistent year-on-year accumulation of surplus metal is a ticking time bomb for the aluminum market – that it will end in tears is as predictable as this year’s market surplus,” Stuart wrote in the article.

“As for aluminum market volatility, one may [falsely] assume that the slower demand and too much production would just lead to steady falling prices, but aluminum buyers may wish to remember that aluminum ranked as one of the top three volatile markets tracked as part of our MMI program in 2012,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “And we have already seen a five percent price drop since the beginning of the year.”

“Implementing commodity risk management strategies for this category of spend has a certain logic to it,” she continued.

current aluminum prices - MetalMiner IndXPrice Drivers of the Aluminum Index

After falling 5.1 percent, Chinese aluminum scrap finished the month with a sizable drop. The price of Chinese aluminum billet fell 3.7 percent. After falling 3.6 percent, the cash price of Chinese aluminum finished the month down as well.

Following a 4.8 percent decline, the Indian aluminum cash price reached lower depths.

The price of European 5083 plate dropped 5.1 percent after staying flat the previous month. The price of European 1050 aluminum dropped 2.6 percent over the past month after holding steady the previous month.

Prices for Korean 3003 coil premium over 1050 sheet saw a marginal gain. Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet hardly budged. Korean 1050 aluminum sheet remained slightly up.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXThe Aluminum MMI® collects and weights 12 global aluminum price points to provide a unique view into aluminum price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Aluminum MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.