Fourth quarter aluminium prices in Japan took a tumble this week, as buyers are reporting a steep drop in premiums asked for and received in recent days.
According to unidentified sources who spoke to Reuters this week, Japanese aluminium buyers have struck deals with at least two major producers to take delivery of primary aluminium for US$99 per metric ton over the LME benchmark.
Experts note that the price is fully one-third below last quarter’s premium. In the third quarter buyers bought a ton of primary aluminium for delivery in Japan for US$148 per metric ton over the LME benchmark price.
The fourth-quarter drop is the fourth consecutive price reduction in Japanese premiums. Initially sources indicate that producers sought between US$115 and US$133 per metric ton above the LME price.
As the continent’s most prolific importer of primary aluminium, Japan’s aluminium prices set the standard for buyers and sellers across Asia. Japan’s main aluminium buyers can be found in the automotive and electronics sectors, both of which dominate their fields and the Japanese economy as well.