European aluminium premiums are at fresh record highs after climbing by about 17% in the second quarter so far, on the same fundamental tightness that saw premiums rise 45% between November and January. 

Duty-paid premiums have for the first time broken the $400 per tonne mark, and now stand at $400-425 per tonne in-warehouse Rotterdam. It was not long before market participants started forecasting a $500 premium in Rotterdam, with some small deals in the south of Europe reportedly reaching that level already on a delivered basis. 

In a poll on Metal Bulletin’s website, 13.33% of respondents said that the $500 per tonne level would be achieved in Rotterdam this month, while 31.11% said it would get there in the second half of this year and 17.78% said the $500 premium will be seen next year or later.

The remaining 37.78% of respondents said that Rotterdam would never see a $500 duty-paid aluminium premium.

So the market is split roughly 45:55 on a $500 premium this year, with the duty-paid premium having ended last year at less than $300 per tonne.

Jethro Wookey
Twitter: @jethrowookey_mb