The sale is the first from a producer this quarter and comes after several trader sales were reported. Sources close to the matter also confirmed on Wednesday that a trader had sold more tonnage at $85 per tonne.

Producer offers were said to have started above $90 per tonne.

The first deals of the quarter were concluded between an international trader and a Japan-based trader at $83 per tonne.

The recent fourth-quarter deals are higher than the third quarter P1020A MJP quarterly premium benchmark settlement at $75-79 per tonne, but are still lower than the fourth quarter of 2019, which settled at $97 per tonne.

The spot cif MJP premium has been concluding at higher levels this quarter, with demand for aluminium in the region slowly starting to tick higher compared with during the height of Covid-19 related lockdowns earlier this year.

The aluminium P1020A (MJP) spot premium, cif Japan stood at $75-85 per tonne on September 1, compared with $65-75 per tonne on July 3. 

Yet market participants say an oversupply of metal continues to limit how much higher premiums can climb in Asia.