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Japan's spot aluminum premium stays flat but demand outlook strong

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018

   S&P Global Platts assessed the spot Japanese aluminum import premium at $102-$109/mt plus London Metal Exchange cash CIF Japan, on Wednesday, flat since last Thursday.

  But market sources said the demand outlook was strongly positive.
  There was no offer, bid or deal reported after the March 28 consumer tender for 2,000 mt. Both seaborne and domestic trades typically turn quiet in the first week of April, the start of the new Japanese financial year.
  The only activities seen were end-users calling traders to set their LME price for April deliveries, as LME cash price fell below $2,000/mt this week after four months.
  One international trader said he was expecting prices to be supported at $1,950/mt on surging spot alumina prices. Platts assessed spot alumina at $450/mt FOB Australia Wednesday.
  Despite quiet trade, Japan's aluminum demand outlook was strongly positive for the next six-months as major rolling mills and extruders run at near full capacities, Japanese sources said.
  "I have been turning down orders," said one extruder.
  Japanese traders added there was concern over demand outstripping the country's aluminum processing capacities of around 200,000 mt/month.
  International traders said there were inquiries for shipments in second half of 2018 and into 2019.
  One Japanese trader said rather than ingot, the country may need to import some finished and semi-finished aluminum products.

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