TOKYO, Sept 5 Two Japanese aluminium buyers have
agreed to pay a producer a record premium of $420 per tonne for
metal to be shipped in the October-December quarter, two sources
directly involved in the quarterly pricing talks said on Friday.
Japan is Asia's biggest importer of aluminium and the
premiums for primary metal shipments it agrees to pay each
quarter over the London Metal Exchange (LME) cash price
set the benchmark for the region.
A buyer struck the deal this week with Rio Tinto Ltd
which proposed the $420-a-tonne premium last month, as
the offer stood below other producers' proposals that ranged
between premiums of $435 and $460, said a source who declined to
Another buyer also decided to accept the Rio's offer as it
came far below rival offers, another buying source said.
Rio Tinto could not be reached by phone to comment.
Other producers involved in the pricing negotiations include
Alcoa Inc, BHP Billiton and United
The Rio deal marks a 3-5 percent hike from the
July-September quarter premiums of $400-$408 per tonne
PREM-ALUM-JP, which were up 8-12 percent from premiums in the
But many other buyers, including trading houses and
end-users, have not struck any deals yet, buying sources said.
"The supply in Japan and the rest of Asia is not as tight as
the United States and Europe. We are not convinced by producers'
requests for higher premiums," an end-user source said.
The price negotiations, which began last month, are expected
to continue for the next couple of weeks.
Top aluminium producers have pushed up their premiums on
primary metal for October-December shipments to Japan as smelter
shutdowns have squeezed supplies, sources involved in the talks
said last month.
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Mark Potter)