AUSTRALIA ALUMINA: Price flat as bid-ask spread remains wide
Tokyo (Platts)--3Dec2012/455 am EST/955 GMT
The Platts Australian spot alumina price stayed at $328/mt FOB on
Monday, unchanged since a week ago as trade remained thin due to the wide gap
between buyers and sellers, market sources said.
One Chinese trader, who had several smelter customers seeking spot
cargoes, said his buy idea was $322/mt FOB Australia. The prevailing weak
Shanghai Futures Exchange aluminum prices were discouraging buyers to accept
the $328/mt FOB Australia price, he said.
The front-month December 2012 aluminum contract closed Monday at Yuan
15,230/mt ($2,444/mt), down from Friday's Yuan 15,320/mt. The front-month SHFE
contracts had traded above Yuan 15,500/mt in October.
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Meanwhile, one seller said his sell idea was $330/mt FOB Australia,
although he was not offering this week, as his company was more focused on
annual contracts. He may be offering in a few weeks if there were cargoes to
offer for January-February, he said.
"We have sold some spot cargoes last month and the relative ease to ink
deals makes me think there are more players in the buy side," he said.
A European trader said he saw the spot price gradually trending up as
the number of buyers have outnumbered sellers. He also pegged the current
spot price at $330/mt FOB Australia.
In China, the domestic ex-works Henan spot alumina price also continued
at Yuan 2,640/mt on Monday, unchanged from Friday and last week.
"There's still no change, the market is generally stable, and we are
still selling around Yuan 2,650/mt December spot for up to 20-30% credit
payment," a Henan refiner said.
"Prices will probably stay rangebound in the near term, supported by
re-stocking demand but pressured by weak aluminum prices," he added.
Smelters and trade sources agreed, pegging spot prices this month to
range between Yuan 2,620-2,630/mt cash to partial credit payment terms.
Meanwhile, one shipowner said Monday freight for handysize dry bulk
cargo for shipping from Western Australia to northeast China was $25-26/mt,
up $2-3/mt from last week, due to increases in cargo traffic.
"There is last minute cargo before the financial year ends," she said. But
charterers said they were not aware of freight going up yet.
The Platts assessment for handysize freight for alumina cargoes from
Western Australia to North China stood unchanged at $22-23/mt on Monday.
--Mayumi Watanabe, email@example.com
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--Edited by Jeremy Lovell, email@example.com