Japan Primary Al Buyers Seek Lower Premium for Jan-Mar

Japanese primary aluminium buyers started Japan premium talk with major offshore smelters for January-March 2012. Some smelters offer US$ 4-5 per tonne of price cut while Japanese trading firms and rerollers seek more than US$ 6 of down. The premium would decrease when the demand decreases at home and abroad under worldwide slow economy.

The offshore smelters offered US$ 114-115 per tonne of premium for January-March, which is slight lower than premium in October-December, according to Japanese sources. Japanese buyers seek lower level of premium under slow domestic demand and worldwide premium decrease.

Japanese rerollers reduce the production severely when the demand decreases due to world economy slowdown and Thai flood damage. The aluminium users expect the demand would decrease more due to lower automobile export.

A trading firm source said Japanese users could reduce the contract based purchase volume when European and US buyers reduced the contract by 20-30% and fill the gap by spot based purchase.

US premium decreased to less than 8 US cents per pound. European premium decreased to US$ 100-120 per tonne from US$ 120-140 in 2-3 months ago. The demand decreases for automobile and construction in Europe and USA. South Korean premium decreased to less than US$ 100 per tonne in recent months.