Aluminum prices through the roof?
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  1. #1
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    Default Aluminum prices through the roof?

    Just curious if any one else is seeing this. I'm trying to locate some 7075 plate. I've gotten 4 quotes, and they are all double what I paid 2 weeks ago. WTF

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    How much a pound are you getting quoted and for how many pounds? I am sure Fry Steel is on your vendor list.

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    Mind giving us an idea of the numbers before and after?

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    I paid $4/lb 2 weeks ago for about 800 lbs. All the quotes I'm getting now are over $8/lb.

    Fry doesn't carry plate. I wish they did.

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    I just checked with Alro and they're at about $3.50/lb

    Are they just hosing you on cut charges?

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    a lot of stuff price varies on many things including if they have small excess pieces sitting on a shelf or have to buy a piece and cut off part for you
    .
    that is if piece over a certain size width thickness and they have to buy a 20 foot piece and cut off a 3 foot piece for you they may add $50. to $200. for the cut. that is you pay $50. or more extra cause you not buying the whole 20 foot long bar.
    .
    other thing is wholesale retail cost difference. it might be $15. wholesale price and a $50. retail price for small orders difference.
    .
    i even saw company want $150. to fill out the paperwork for the purchase in addition to what you bought. if you bought $5 item it cost $155. with the paperwork cost. it discourages small orders so people only buy much large quantites

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    7075 plate has been unstable for quite some time. Earlier this year, the pricing was stable but the lead time was something stupid, like 4-5 months.

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    One of the very few noticeable affects of the tariffs has been an uptick in US manufacturing of Aluminum. Here are some quotes from recent articles about it-

    Between 2010 and 2017, 18 of 23 domestic aluminum smelters shut down, eliminating roughly 13,000 good domestic jobs. In 2016, there were three alumina refineries supplying U.S. smelters; by 2017, only one remained in operation.


    • Since Section 232 tariffs were imposed, 22 new and expansion projects have been announced in downstream aluminum industries producing extruded (rod and bar, pipe and tube, and extruded shapes) and rolled (sheet and plate) products. These new and expanded facilities will employ over 2,000 additional workers, generate $3.3 billion in new investments, and add nearly 1,000,000 tons of annual rolling and extrusion capacity to the downstream, domestic aluminum industry.

    This is great.

    But- American made material is going to cost more. Although we still subsidize electricity to aluminum refineries and smelters and extruders, we dont do it anywhere near as much as other countries do. And of course, China does all kinds of things to subsidize industry that we dont.

    So- more US production. (not sure about 7075 plate, in specific)
    And, along with that, higher prices.
    Also, US demand for aluminum has been steadily increasing- especially in automotive.
    More demand, less cheap imports, again, higher prices domestically.
    Interestingly enough, Global aluminum prices are dropping, because the Chinese are still making the same amount, so, outside the USA, supply is up, and prices are down.


    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...still-pay-more

    Aluminum tariffs have led to a strong recovery in employment, production, and investment in primary aluminum and downstream industries | Economic Policy Institute

    As predicted, brewer costs are rising due to aluminum tariffs - Beer Institute

    US Aluminum Demand to Increase 1.1% Annually in Volume Terms to 2023

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    What's their lead time? maybe they ran out of that size/thickness you're looking for. Or everybody wants the last few sheet of it so they're really milking it to make what's left last until next batch arrives. Which is a PITA either way...

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    I priced a 24x24” 7075 1” plate (58#) is $200 at Midwest Steel and aluminum = $3.44/lb


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post
    I priced a 24x24” 7075 1” plate (58#) is $200 at Midwest Steel and aluminum = $3.44/lb
    I wonder if it's from a Russian mill - some of the last 7075 I bought was marked "KUMW", which is of Russian origin. I'd rather have US-made...

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    I'm not having much luck getting any answers from my suppliers. Looks like it's time to make some changes. Since this sudden increase has just been in the last couple weeks, I don't know if any prices from these online places are really valid.

    I am thinking they're screwing with me on the cutting.
    I looked through a bunch of PO's for the last few years. Always in the $4-5/lb range regardless of quantity. now, 4 major suppliers quoting $7-8/lb?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post

    I am thinking they're screwing with me on the cutting.
    I looked through a bunch of PO's for the last few years. Always in the $4-5/lb range regardless of quantity. now, 4 major suppliers quoting $7-8/lb?
    With Boeing's MAX issues, I would have guessed that a slowdown would have dropped Al prices, but big as they are I don't know if that really would effect things. Has the economy out there picked up recently, slowed, or have the Al import cuts finally taken effect?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    I wonder if it's from a Russian mill - some of the last 7075 I bought was marked "KUMW", which is of Russian origin. I'd rather have US-made...
    That’s what the 6061 I recently got was stamped


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    With Boeing's MAX issues, I would have guessed that a slowdown would have dropped Al prices, but big as they are I don't know if that really would effect things. Has the economy out there picked up recently, slowed, or have the Al import cuts finally taken effect?
    A conspiracy between metal suppliers to gouge customers based on hype about tariffs and a trade war? Ya, I'd buy that.
    btw, these quotes are all for domestic material

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    7075 has been all over the place.................most of it's not made here, lotsa Roosky material...........domestic 6061 has been steady(ish) and dropping the last six months or so. I think I was payin' $2.20-$2.40 last fall and now down to around $2/lb...........

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    Did you try Howard Precision?

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    I'm thinkin now my best strategy is going to be to buy a plate saw and try to stock a big chunk of what thicknesses I use. Then I can hack off what we need, when we need it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    I'm thinkin now my best strategy is going to be to buy a plate saw and try to stock a big chunk of what thicknesses I use. Then I can hack off what we need, when we need it.
    If you can swing it, do it.

    Along those lines, do you ever get prints where the engineer specifies rolling orientation to part axis? Being able to cut your own blanks would rock in that situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    If you can swing it, do it.

    Along those lines, do you ever get prints where the engineer specifies rolling orientation to part axis? Being able to cut your own blanks would rock in that situation.
    now and then, and yes, that would be nice. Most of the grain critical parts I've done lately have been forgings, so it's up to the mill to get it right.

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