European physical aluminium premiums hold steady in range; demand weak
London (Platts)--14Dec2012/813 am EST/1313 GMT
Demand in the European physical aluminium market is still weak with
little market activity reported.
"It's very quiet and I haven't been talking to traders or suppliers,"
one European consumer said.
He said he was completely covered for December and had now booked most
of his requirements for next year.
"There is not much change in our orders for next year, but volumes are
slightly better," he said.
The consumer said premiums were currently around $285/mt plus LME cash
on a duty-paid basis and at $225/mt plus LME cash for duty-unpaid material.
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A second consumer said he had received some spot inquiries for January.
"We have some inquiries for January, small quantities, the odd truck
load, but nobody is looking to do much business," he said.
He added that he had put in an inquiry to book some material for next
year but had not heard back from the trader.
"I've quoted a price I'd be willing to buy for the first half of 2013
and am waiting for comments," he said.
The second consumer said premiums were round $280/mt plus LME cash on a
A trader said the spot market was quiet, but that he had seen an
improvement in spot inquiries recently as consumers looked to make some
year-end inventory adjustments.
"There's some year-end stuff going on, a little bit of material being
offered," he said.
The trader said premiums were unchanged and had not really weakened on
the December/January backwardation.
"Premiums are the lower end of the range, but they are still in the
range," he said.
The trader put premiums at $285-295/mt plus LME cash on a duty-paid
basis and at $225/mt plus LME cash for duty-unpaid material.
"Next year is looking like it's going to be quiet, but I won't know for
sure until I return for January," he said.
A producer said premiums were unchanged, but added that the
backwardation had seen them weaken within the range.
"Premiums for duty-paid are $270-290/mt, but are still within range," he
PRICES FIRM BUT SURPLUS TO WEIGH ON MARKET IN 2013
Barclays said Friday that aluminium prices had risen strongly over the
past month, up nearly 10% from their November low and at two-month highs.
It said this was mainly due to short-covering and fresh longs having
"Fundamentals this quarter should be modestly tighter than previously
expected, in part owing to ongoing delays to smelting capacity ramp-ups in
northwestern China, alongside sequentially better-than-expected regional
demand levels," it said.
The bank is forecasting a 1.7 million mt surplus in 2013, which will see
an increase in the stock-to-consumption ratio in Q1 that could weigh on
Platts premium assessment for duty-paid Good Western was unchanged this
week at $280-295/mt, in-warehouse Rotterdam plus LME cash.
The premium assessment for duty-unpaid Good Western was also unchanged
at $225-235/mt plus LME cash, in-warehouse Rotterdam, as was the premium for
A7E at $225-235/mt plus LME cash, duty-unpaid in-warehouse Rotterdam.
--Greg Smart, email@example.com
--Edited by Jonathan Fox, firstname.lastname@example.org