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Non-ferrous metals - 10 August

Merchants report a pickup in trade for non-ferrous scrap through the gates.

Producers continue to report suprisingly good demand for aluminium ingot during the seasonal shutdown, which has caught a few merchants off-guard.

Current aluminium volumes have been described as decent, although they are likely to remain under pressure as most of the material and orders placed before the shutdown are forcing some producers to source extra scrap to cover additional orders that have come through.

Merchants report that while current ingot demand is relatively good for the time of the year; a clearer picture should emerge next week on where the markets are heading for the autumn and production starts to gear up after the summer shutdowns.

There is a fair amount of confidence among some ingot producers, who are predicting that September could turn out to be a strong month for ingot sales.

A few point to the car industry as still being the driving factor behind the current market demand.

Even so, a few ingot producers are not expecting the UK aluminium scrap price to fall further, unless demand falls out of the market.

As they stand, MRW ingot prices remain largely unchanged this week, as are the aluminium scrap prices.

European demand is still buoyant, even if the exchange rates are not forgiving.

Although the LME price for copper gained from an early rally on the market at the start of the week’s trading, scrap copper prices at the time of writing have shown very little movement.

Lead battery prices declined further this week, down £50 per tonne to bring the average to £375 per tonne, while the lead scrap price remains flat at £900 per tonne.

Scrap nickel prices dipped lower off the back of weak demand from the mills. As one merchant succinctly stated: “It’s the usual summer apathy, no demand and weak prices”.

Pure molybdenum and cobalt posted the larger declines, down £100 to £11,500 and £14,500 per tonne respectively.

For the rest of the nickel and alloy grades, prices edged down an average of £10-£20 per tonne.

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