Cash Price of Aluminum Drifts Downwards, Fields Will Continue Ford’s Aluminum Strategy

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Mark Fields will take the keys to a Ford Motor Co. on July 1 it was announced last week. Fields will ascend to the helm of a Ford that is lean, profitable and a far cry from the near-bankrupt carmaker taken over in 2006 by his predecessor, Alan Mulally.

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Fields still has his job cut out for him. The new chief executive officer is betting heavily on aluminum to raise Ford’s stock price. Analysts don’t see much upside for the stock, CBS reported, until Ford starts selling a revolutionary new aluminum-body F-150 pickup late this year. The truck, which will be 700 pounds lighter than the current version, could get close to 30 miles per gallon of gas on the highway, far better than its competition.

But Ford faces the gargantuan tasks of retooling factories to produce such a large body out of something other than steel, and of convincing skeptical buyers that an alloy version of the nation’s top-selling vehicle is just as tough as the old one.

The day’s biggest mover was the cash price of primary aluminum which dropped by 1.9 percent on Friday, May 2 to close at $1,736 per metric ton on the LME. On the LME, the aluminum 3-month price declined 1.7 percent to $1,781 per metric ton. The Indian aluminum cash price fell 0.9 percent to INR 107.50 ($1.78) per kilogram.

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Chinese aluminum prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap held steady at CNY 12,250 ($1,957) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 13,590 ($2,171) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar saw little movement at CNY 14,200 ($2,269) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese aluminum remained essentially flat at CNY 13,290 ($2,123) per metric ton.

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