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United Kingdom

“Steady” seems to have been the commonly-used word in the UK scrap trade over the last couple of months. Scrap generation and availability are set to be challenging while Red Sea issues are continuing to impact material flows in and out of the UK and Continental Europe. With the construction and manufacturing sectors remaining weak, non-ferrous still appears to be readily available to merchants and end users in the UK - but just not in the volumes they were once seeing.

Some lead mills have been restricting deliveries over the last month, leading to merchants storing or exporting it.

The aluminium market has been very flat despite reports from refiners mentioning steady ingot premiums. While automotive has been very slow for the end user, there seems to be a lot of interest in the aerospace sector for aluminium.

As for developments on the scrap side, the recent Budget announcement seemed to sway the exchange rate in the favour of the UK and helped trading, especially on secondary aluminium grades leaving the country. Owing to tight supply, continuing interest in copper from India and elsewhere in Asia may be putting pressure on European and home markets regarding future discounts.