Old sheet aluminium scrap traded at the same level as old cast for the first time in nearly six years as competition from rolling mills lifted old sheet prices.

The Argus old sheet price rose to 61-63¢/lb Thursday, from 61-62¢/lb a week earlier, as some rolling mills purchased and shredded the grade as a lower-priced alternative to mixed low-copper clips. Mill-grade MLCs rose sharply in the latest week, increasing to 74-76¢/lb from 71-73¢/lb.

Old cast scrap prices fell to 61-63¢/lb from a 2017 peak of 62-64¢/lb a week earlier. Old cast is silicon-rich, causing it to typically trade at a premium to lower-silicon content grade old sheet which makes the current relationship an anomaly.

Tight supply of obsolete grades supported aluminum-copper radiator prices, which increased to $1.28-1.32/lb from $1.27-1.31/lb. Comex copper prices were lower Thursday at $2.63/lb compared with $2.66/lb a week earlier, after the metal dropped by 5¢/lb on Tuesday.

Sellers of secondary aluminium alloys were less bullish on price direction this week as A380.1 prices rose to 92-94¢/lb from 92-93¢/lb, but three-month North American Specialty Aluminium Contract (Nasaac) prices on the London Metal Exchange closed below 88¢/lb on Wednesday and Thursday for the first time in three weeks.

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