Recycled aluminium collected from secondary producers in the United States saw a steep decline in May, recovering 19 percent less of it than the previous year.
According to numbers from the United States Geological Survey, secondary producers recovered 231 thousand metric tons of scrap aluminium, which was also down from April’s total by 9 percent.
In May, new scrap edged out old scrap as the leading source of scrap, with new scrap accounting for 122 thousand metric tons and old scrap for 109 thousand metric tons. Secondary smelters saw their totals fall significantly in the month as well, dropping off from 140 thousand metric tons last May to 127 thousand metric tons this May. Meanwhile, independent mill fabricators recovered less as well on the year, falling from 137 thousand metric tons last year to 98 thousand metric tons this year.
Also falling was aluminium alloy production, dropping by 19 percent from 88.8 thousand metric tons last May to 70.9 thousand metric tons this May, and secondary alloys, falling from 69.9 thousand metric tons to 56.8 thousand metric tons in the same time period. Inventories of secondary aluminium also dropped in May, from 40,840 metric tons through April to 39,477 metric tons through May.
For the year through May overall secondary aluminium recovery fell, from 1.43 million metric tons last year to 1.3 million metric tons this year.
Prices for the month were off significantly according to S&P Global Platts, falling by 30 percent to an average of 39.80 cents per pound for aluminium cans, by 28 percent to 32.35 cents per pound for sheet, 21.5 percent to 33.80 cents per pound for cast, and 23 percent to 29.25 cents per pound for turnings.
Conversely, prices for Platts US A380 aluminium secondary alloy price was up a bit, increasing from 66 to 67 cents per pound at the beginning of the month to 66-67.5 cents per pound near the end of May.