Price Assessment

Platts US A380 Secondary Aluminum Alloy Price

  • What is the US A380 Secondary Aluminum Alloy Price?
  • How Platts assesses the US A380 Secondary Aluminum Alloy Price
  • Evolution of Platts Secondary Aluminum Coverage

What is the US A380 Secondary Aluminum Alloy Price?

Platts assesses the US price for A380 alloy along with 5 other secondary aluminum alloys. These are alloys made predominately of scrap material, to meet very tight specifications suitable for diecasting or foundry applications.

A380 alloy is mostly used in automotive applications, and motorcycles, but also in recreational vehicles, lawn equipment, handtools, telecommunications, industrial and outdoor lighting, office equipment, barbeque grills, escalators and housewares.

The flagship Platts A380 secondary aluminum alloy price assessment was launched in July 1992 at the request of US automotive consumers, who were looking for an independent published index that would more accurately reflect the actual transaction price between secondary smelters and parts makers, for valuing the aluminum in the automotive parts.

The price assessment reflects the spot transaction price for US A380 specification secondary alloy with chemistry to meet 8-9.5% Si, 1% Fe, 3-4% Cu, 0.5% Mn, 0.1% Mg, 0.5% Ni, 2.9% Zn, and 0.35% Sn.

The specification is for new A380 produced by secondary smelters and sold to diecasters, delivered US Midwest within 30 days, for 45,000 lb truckload quantities and payment terms of net-30 to net-60 days.

How Platts assesses the US A380 Secondary Aluminum Alloy Price

Platts conducts a comprehensive survey of the US North American market on a twice-weekly basis (usually Mondays and Thursdays except during holiday weeks).

Platts collects data on spot transactions, bids and offers from secondary aluminum smelters, diecasters, foundries, traders and brokers, as well as getting input periodically from automotive end-users.

The A380 secondary aluminum alloyprice is assessed in a narrow range reflecting the most repeatable value for spot activity, based on the number of trades, bids and offers at that level, as verified by both buyers and sellers.

Platts does not volume weight trade data but looks for the price most likely to occur for a typical transaction that meets the Platts specifications.

Platts has found that A383 alloy often trades interchangeably with A380, so A383 spot prices are also considered. Prices or spreads on 380-type RSI or are not considered in the assessment process but are looked at for trend purposes.

Likewise, price data on A380 sold out of London Metal Exchange NASAAC warehouses is considered for trend purposes only.

Evolution of Platts Secondary Aluminum Coverage

After Platts began assessing the US A380 price in 1992, the industry requested price assessments for additional US secondary alloys.

Platts began assessing 319, 356 and F132 on the same twice-weekly schedule in April 1993. The specifications for these alloys follow Aluminum Association parameters for chemistry and are for truckload quantities, delivered Midwest customers within 30 days, payment net-30 to net-60 days.

The price assessments quickly were adopted as a basis for pricing metal supplies between smelters and diecasters and the supply of diecast parts from diecasters to automakers and other end users.

Some traders and brokers also began offering over-the-counter derivatives settling against the Platts A380 assessment, as US A380 physical pricing has not been well correlated with LME prices.

Platts continued to expand its coverage of the secondary aluminum market in the years that followed, adding 8 assessments for US aluminum scrap in July 2000 ¿ for old cast, old sheet, mill-grade mixed low copper clips, dealer grade mixed low copper clips, high-grade turnings,auto shreds,used beverage cans and 6063 press scrap.

These assessments were updated in 2006 with the splitting of auto shreds into two assessments for high and low grades (twitch and tweak) and the addition of a painted siding assessment.

That decade also saw the expansion of Platts' secondary aluminum coverage into other regions with the addition of a weekly price assessment for the European alloy closest in specification to A380 '226 alloy' in September 2003, and price assessments for the closest Japanese equivalent -- ADC12 -- on both an FOB China and ex-works China basis in January 2008.

Platts continues to round out its secondary aluminum alloys coverage in response to industry requests, having added a US assessment for A413 in 2010 and for B390 in 2013.

Platts further expanded its aluminum scrap price assessments in early 2016 and continues to research additional secondary alloy and scrap assessments globally.

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