Demand for gold surged to an 11-year high last year. This is due to large-scale purchases on the back of high activity by retail investors and a slowdown of ETF outflows.
Japan was buying aluminum at a surcharge. Shipments from January to March were at $85-86 per ton, which is 13-14% less than in the previous quarter. Resources report weak demand and strong reserves of aluminum.
Prices were $99 per ton from October to December. The decline continues into its fifth consecutive quarter, and the surcharge is the lowest since the July-September 2020 quarter.
Japan is the largest importer of primary metal in Asia, and agrees to pay a premium over the base price in cash on the London Metal Exchange (LME) for its shipments each quarter. The producers' initial offer was $95 to $105 per ton, but long negotiations led to a lower level.
Marubeni Corp reported this month that aluminum reserves at three major Japanese ports were 296,500 tons at the end of 2021. They were 381,830 tons in December last year.