Japan's spot aluminum import premium was assessed at $300-320/mt

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Japan’s spot aluminum import premium was assessed at $300-320/mt to the London Metal Exchange cash CIF Japan, unchanged since January 23, ahead of the second-quarter contract talks between Japanese buyers and overseas suppliers.

No spot deal, bid or offer was reported Wednesday, as overseas producers have sold out their February-March loading cargoes, Japanese buyers and overseas sellers said.

Platts surveyed two Japanese trading companies, one Japanese consumer, and three overseas producers Wednesday for their spot premium ideas, due to absence of firm bids, offers or deals.

Market participants had buying ideas of 280-300/mt plus LME cash CIF, while selling ideas were between $300-350/mt plus LME cash CIF.

Amid a lack of market activity in Asia, market participants were closely following the US spot aluminum premium trends in the physical market as well as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s COMEX Platts US aluminum transaction premiums for direction, trade and producer sources said.

The Platts US premium was assessed at 20.75 cents/lb delivered Midwest February 4, unchanged since January 24.

Spot import trade was also lackluster as Q2 contract premium negotiations are expected to start in earnest this month. 

Some companies are expected to meet as early as the week starting February 10, sources said, while some Japanese buyers have already booked Q2 purchase volumes last month on concerns of tightening supply.
Source: Platts