While aluminum giant Alcoa has been grappling with weak prices, the company has benefited from strong performance in its value-added businesses. Indeed, the downstream business has seen strong demand from industries such as aerospace and automotive, according to an analysis by the Motley Fool. This is one of the major reasons why the outlook for Alcoa has improved even though its upstream business continues to face challenges.
While the demand and outlook for aluminum products from the US auto market is very strong, manufacturers in overseas markets, especially in the fast-growing region of Asia, are reluctant to use lighter metal due to higher costs, the Motley Fool said.
With a decline of 1.2 percent on the LME to $1,731 per metric ton on Monday, May 19, the cash price of primary aluminum recorded the biggest decline of the day. The 3-month price of aluminum weakened by 1.2 percent on the LME, settling at $1,775 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian aluminum fell 0.5 percent to INR 105.25 ($1.80) per kilogram.
Chinese aluminum prices were mixed for the day. The cash price of Chinese aluminum gained 0.5 percent to finish at CNY 13,010 ($2,088) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap was unchanged at CNY 12,250 ($1,966) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet saw little movement at CNY 13,590 ($2,182) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar remained essentially flat at CNY 14,200 ($2,280) per metric ton.