Aluminum buyers in Japan, Asia’s largest importer, won a cut in fees charged by a major producer, the first drop in three quarters, after the nation’s recovery from the March earthquake and tsunami lost momentum.
The premium for the three months ending Dec. 31 was set at $118 a metric ton over the London Metal Exchange cash price in transactions agreed so far, compared with $120 this quarter, said three executives involved in the negotiations. They declined to be identified because the talks were private.
The fee declined as the U.S. economic slowdown and the yen’s rally to a postwar record against the dollar threaten Japan’s export-led recovery. Aluminum supply is also abundant as smelters in the Middle East boosted shipments to Asian buyers, intensifying competition with Australian and American producers.
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