Author: 06 Mar 2012 Last updated at 05:32:41 GMT

Non traditional demand helps push up aluminum prices so far this year

LONDON (Scrap Monster): Non-traditional demand has added to the stronger tone so far this year in aluminum, which as of the end of last week was up 15% since the end of 2011, said Harbor Intelligence in a research note. 

According to Harbour, broad-based positive macroeconomic data out from the U.S., monetary easing from China and authorization of the release of the second bailout tranche for Greece have reduced fear in the U.S., China and Europe to levels associated with sustainable demand and price increases. Physical demand is picking up around the world and funds are starting to establish long positions in the metal.

“Non-traditional physical demand, which are financing deals (seen in canceled warrants), continue to lock up metal from traditional physical demand and extend queues in Vlissingen and Detroit to unprecedented levels,” Harbor continued.

“As a result, on-warrant LME inventories (metal not earmarked to leave the warehouse) continue to reach fresh multi-year lows in every region of the Western world. In fact, premiums in the U.S. and Europe are up,” Harbor added.

Aluminum on the London Metal Exchange Friday got as high as $2,361.50 a metric ton, its strongest level since Sept. 19.

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Scrap Item Price Unit
6061 Extrusions 0.80 $US / Lb
Old Sheet 0.70 $US / Lb
Al/Cu Radiators 1.59 $US / Lb
Old Cast 0.71 $US / Lb
6063 Extrusions 0.82 $US / Lb
Zorba 90% NF 0.72 $US / Lb
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