LME aluminum

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Monday ended its 4-year ownership of its metal-warehousing unit, unloading it to an investment firm run by two British brothers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Just last month, Goldman executives were grilled before a US Senate panel about accusations that the warehousing unit, Metro International Trade Services, withheld metal supplies and drove up aluminum prices in the US.

Terms of the sale to Reuben Brothers, an investment firm based in Switzerland and founded by brothers David and Simon Reuben, weren’t disclosed.

The two brothers made much of their fortune in the aluminum industry, most prominently in Russia in the 1990s. Their eponymous firm has also been an active property investor of late and was mentioned earlier this year as a contender to buy the Plaza Hotel in New York.

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The cash price of primary Chinese aluminum closed up Monday, December 22 at CNY 13,100 ($2,106) per metric ton, halting two days of weakening prices with a 0.3% shift. The price of Chinese aluminum bar rose 0.3% to CNY 13,110 ($2,108) per metric ton after a two-day drop. The price of Chinese aluminum billet saw little movement at CNY 13,700 ($2,203) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap showed little movement yesterday at CNY 12,900 ($2,074) per metric ton.

Following a two-day drop, the cash price of primary Indian aluminum increased by 0.2% to INR 120.85 ($1.91) per kilogram. The primary aluminum cash price saw little price change on Monday on the LME at $1,888 per metric ton. On the LME, the 3-month price of aluminum held steady around $1,917 per metric ton.

China decided to leave export duty on aluminum products unchanged in 2015, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced December 16, Shanghai Metals Market reported.

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Some Chinese smelters had hoped that the export duty would be cut or eliminated entirely next year. Beijing’s goal is still reducing overcapacity in aluminum industry. Should the export tariff be cancelled, the government argued, lots of small and cost-inefficient smelters would reopen, exacerbating an already-in-surplus market.

The aluminum cash price closed as the biggest mover for Friday, December 19. Switching from a downward trend, the metal closed at $1,888 per metric ton following a 1.3% increase. Following a 1.2% rise last Friday, the 3-month price of aluminum closed on the LME at $1,917 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian aluminum declined 0.8% to INR 120.55 ($1.91) per kilogram.

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Chinese aluminum closed mixed last Friday. The Chinese aluminum cash price weakened by 0.5%, settling at CNY 13,060 ($2,102) per metric ton. After falling 0.5% to CNY 13,070 ($2,104) per metric ton, the price of Chinese aluminum bar reached a 30-day low. Chinese aluminum scrap stayed flat at around CNY 12,900 ($2,076) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum billet saw little change in its price last Friday at CNY 13,700 ($2,205) per metric ton.

Aleris International Inc. of Beachwood, Ohio,  plans to sell its aluminum extrusions business to Sankyo Tateyama Inc. in Japan.

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The company told Crain’s Cleveland Business that it signed a definitive agreement with the building products and extrusions maker to sell four locations in Europe and one in China that “specialize in the production of medium and hard alloy extrusions, serving the rail, automotive and aerospace industries,” according to a Dec. 18 news release.

Aleris said Sankyo Tateyama has agreed to pay 35.5 million Euros, or about $43.6 million at today’s exchange rate, and assume about 46 million Euros, or $56.5 million of pension liabilities. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

The 3-month price of aluminum saw a 0.8% drop on the LME on Thursday, December 18, landing at $1,893 per metric ton and making it the biggest mover of the day. The Indian aluminum cash price fell 0.7% to INR 121.55 ($1.93) per kilogram. The cash price of primary aluminum saw a 0.6% decline on the LME to $1,863 per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum prices were mixed for the day. The cash price of Chinese aluminum declined 0.8% to CNY 13,130 ($2,113) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum bar saw its price drop 0.8% to a 30-day low of CNY 13,140 ($2,115) per metric ton on Thursday. Chinese aluminum scrap stayed flat at around CNY 12,900 ($2,076) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet held steady at CNY 13,700 ($2,205) per metric ton.

The biggest news in a busy week in aluminum was that The UK’s top court refused to hear UC Rusal’s appeal of a London Metal Exchange plan to ease delivery backlogs at warehouses.

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Ford Motor Co. delivered its first aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup trucks in the past week. All of this happened as aluminum inventory in LME warehouses hit a 4-year-low.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Aluminum MMI® was the cash price of primary aluminum, which saw a 4.4% decline on the LME to $1,863 per metric ton. This week marked the third in a row of declining prices for the metal. The 3-month price of aluminum saw a 3.7% drop-off this week on the LME to $1,893 per metric ton. The Indian aluminum cash price dropped 0.4% this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices at INR 121.55 ($1.93) per kilogram.

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Chinese aluminum prices were mixed for the week. The cash price of Chinese aluminum fell 1.1% over the past week to CNY 13,130 ($2,113) per metric ton. This was the third week in a row of declining prices. The price of Chinese aluminum bar declined 1.1% over the past week, settling at CNY 13,140 ($2,115) per metric ton. At CNY 12,900 ($2,076) per metric ton, the price of Chinese aluminum scrap finished the week 0.8% higher.

Prices for Korean 3003 coil premium over 1050 sheet remained constant, closing the week at KRW 3,740 ($3.40) per kilogram. Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 3,890 ($3.53) per kilogram. At EUR 2,954 ($3,681) per metric ton, the price of European 5083 plate did not change since the previous week. European 1050 aluminum remained essentially flat from the previous week at EUR 2,613 ($3,238) per metric ton.

The Aluminum MMI® collects and weights 12 global aluminum price points to provide a unique view into aluminum price trends. 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.

The UK’s top court refused to hear UC Rusal’s appeal of a London Metal Exchange plan to ease delivery backlogs at warehouses.

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The UK Supreme Court’s decision effectively ends Rusal’s lawsuit over proposed new load-in and load-out rules and aluminum storage requirements for all LME warehouses, which the Russian company said were unfairly implemented and would cost it tens of millions of pounds sterling. Rusal also lost at the appeal level.

The LME released a statement saying “We are pleased that Rusal’s request for leave to appeal has been denied by the Supreme Court. We have believed from the start that Rusal’s complaint was without merit, and are glad that the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court have recognized this. As the world’s leading base metals exchange, the LME has a duty to ensure the integrity of its reference prices and the operation of a fair and liquid market for all industry participants. To this end, the implementation of Load-In Load-Out will take place as planned and the remaining elements of our warehouse reforms package will also be addressed.”

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Ford Motor Co. made its first deliveries of the new aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 pickup truck this week.

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Thousands of customers with confirmed orders were waiting on their new truck. Ford, which has hailed the new F-150 as among its most important products in history, has been building the pickups near its Dearborn, Mich., headquarters for months and was storing them near the factory. It only started delivering the product to buyers in recent days.

As falling gasoline prices boost truck demand, U.S. customers are being forced to wait in line.

On Tuesday, December 16, the day’s biggest mover was the aluminum 3-month price, which saw a 0.5% decline on the LME to $1,930 per metric ton. The Indian aluminum cash price rose 0.5% to INR 122.45 ($1.93) per kilogram. The cash price of primary aluminum flattened at $1,916 per metric ton after two days of downward movement on the LME.

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Chinese aluminum closed mixed yesterday. The Chinese aluminum cash price closed at CNY 13,320 ($2,152) per metric ton. Following a couple days of improvement, the metal’s price weakened by 0.2%. Chinese aluminum bar closed 0.2% lower at CNY 13,330 ($2,153) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap held steady at CNY 12,800 ($2,068) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum billet saw little change in its price yesterday at CNY 13,700 ($2,213) per metric ton.

Aluminum rose on speculation that China will further stimulate the economy of the world’s biggest metals consumer and inventories fell to near a 4-year low.

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Aluminum gained as much as 0.6% after closing at the lowest in 8 weeks on Dec. 12. A private manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for China is forecast to slip below the 50 threshold that signals expansion for the first time in seven months, according to a Bloomberg News survey before the data tomorrow. Aluminum inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange dropped to 4.29 million tons on Dec. 12, the lowest since January 2011, according to bourse data.

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The day’s biggest mover was Chinese aluminum bar, dropping 6.5% to settle at CNY 13,360 ($2,162) per metric ton on Monday, December 15. After two flat days, the price of Chinese aluminum billet inched up 0.7% on Monday to CNY 13,700 ($2,217). The Chinese aluminum cash price gained 0.4% to finish at CNY 13,350 ($2,160) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 12,800 ($2,071) per metric ton.

On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum fell 0.9% to $1,918 per metric ton. On the LME, the aluminum 3-month price declined 0.7% to $1,940 per metric ton. The Indian aluminum cash price fell 0.1% to INR 121.90 ($1.95) per kilogram yesterday after two days of no change.

Alcoa, Inc., will acquire Tital, a privately held manufacturer that makes titanium and aluminum castings for aircraft engines and airframes. The bulk of Tital’s 650 employees are based in Bestwig, Germany.

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This is another step in Alcoa’s aggressive expansion in the aerospace aluminum market. Earlier this year, Alcoa acquired aerospace engine manufacturer Firth Rixson.

“As a fast-growing innovator, TITAL will increase our share of highly differentiated content on the world’s best-selling jet engines,” said CEO Klaus Kleinfeld in a statement released today. “The company’s talent and customer relationships will boost Alcoa’s expanding global aerospace leadership as we meet the future needs of our customers. We have the highest respect for our future colleagues and look forward to welcoming them wholeheartedly into the global Alcoa family.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the statement said Alcoa expects to close the deal in the first quarter of 2015.

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The price of Chinese aluminum bar closed up Friday, December 12 at CNY 14,290 ($2,307) per metric ton, halting two days of weakening prices with a 7.5% shift. The Chinese aluminum cash price rose 0.2% to CNY 13,300 ($2,148) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet remained steady at CNY 13,600 ($2,196) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum scrap stayed flat at around CNY 12,800 ($2,067) per metric ton.

The primary aluminum cash price saw a 0.7% decline on the LME to $1,935 per metric ton. On the LME, the aluminum 3-month price fell 0.6% to $1,954 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian aluminum held steady last Friday, remaining around INR 122.05 ($1.95) per kilogram.

Global aluminum premiums are expected to reach fresh record highs by mid-2015 on a supply deficit in the US and Europe, a Reuters survey showed.

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Premiums have surged this year, more than doubling in the US, as a revival in auto demand spurred aluminum consumption, while smelter shutdowns and use of the metal in financing deals squeezed supply.

But premiums next year will rise at a slower pace as new rules reduce queues at warehouses and as higher all-in prices encourage smelters to ramp up production.

According to the survey of 11 sources from aluminum consumers, producers and trade houses – who declined to be named as they were involved in 2015 term deal talks – global premiums are most likely to hit records in the second quarter.

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Chinese aluminum bar had the largest decline on Thursday, December 11, dropping 6.9% and landing at CNY 13,290 ($2,152) per metric ton. The Chinese aluminum cash price flattened at CNY 13,280 ($2,150) following two-days of declines. At CNY 13,600 ($2,202) per metric ton, the price of Chinese aluminum billet was essentially unchanged. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap showed little movement on Thursday at CNY 12,800 ($2,072) per metric ton.

After falling for two days, the aluminum 3-month price rose 0.3% on the LME to $1,965 per metric ton. The primary aluminum cash price is back up, rising by 0.3% on the LME on Thursday to close at $1,950 per metric ton. The Indian aluminum cash price showed little movement on Thursday at INR 122.00 ($1.96) per kilogram.

This week, soaring physical delivery premiums and a stronger London Metal Exchange price are sucking primary aluminum into the US market. According to Reuters the bulk has come from Canada with October’s imports surging to 268,000 tons, equivalent to 1.91 million tons per year, up 25% from September and 17% from the same month a year before.

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Rising Canadian imports in October run against a trend that has seen Canadian imports fall this year partly as Rio Tinto has closed an older technology plant at it’s Kitmat smelter in preparation for the start up next year of new technology raising output there to 420,000 tons.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Aluminum MMI® was the price of Chinese aluminum bar, which saw a 8.0% decline to CNY 13,290 ($2,152) per metric ton. This comes on the heels of a 1.7% increase the week before. In the past week, Chinese aluminum scrap saw its price shift up 1.6% to CNY 12,800 ($2,072) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese aluminum saw a 1.3% drop this week, closing at CNY 13,280 ($2,150) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet declined 0.7% over the past week, settling at CNY 13,600 ($2,202) per metric ton.

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Since last week, the price of the cash price of primary Indian aluminum fell to INR 122.00 ($1.96) per kilogram after moving 1.3%. The cash price of primary aluminum closed last week at $1,950 per metric ton, after a 0.8% drop on the LME. On the LME, the 3-month price of aluminum closed at $1,965 per metric ton after a flat week.

Following a steady week, prices for Korean 3003 coil premium over 1050 sheet closed flat at KRW 3,740 ($3.40) per kilogram. At KRW 3,890 ($3.53) per kilogram, the week finished with no movement for Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet. European 5083 plate remained essentially flat from the previous week at EUR 2,954 ($3,660) per metric ton. European 1050 aluminum traded sideways last week, hovering around EUR 2,613 ($3,238) per metric ton.

The Aluminum MMI® collects and weights 12 global aluminum price points to provide a unique view into aluminum price trends. 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.

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