Thursday, February 16, 2006

Aluminum Futures

Aluminum is the chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery and ductile member of the poor metal group of chemical elements.
Aluminum is a symbol of the 21st century economy. The lightweight, corrosion resistant metal is ubiquitous, finding use in aerospace applications, as a construction material, in packaging, automobiles, railroad cars, and thousands of other applications.

Transportation is the largest single consuming sector, absorbing approximately 30% of U.S. production. Packaging and aluminum containers – all those cans – take another 20%; building and construction absorbs 10%. The high voltage electric transmission lines that are strung from one end of the nation to the other are often made of aluminum.

Aluminum scrap is among the most easily recycled metal available today. In the United States, the recycling of aluminum cans is a billion-dollar business by itself. Practically all beverage containers made in the United States today are aluminum and two-thirds are recycled. The turnaround between the time a can is tossed into a recycling bin, re-smelted, fabricated and back on a store shelf is often only 60 days.

Aluminum production is dependent on a large supply of uninterrupted electric power and energy is a key cost component.

The Exchange's COMEX Division aluminum futures and options contracts provide price transparency to the U.S. aluminum market, valued at about $35 billion per year in products and exports.

Trading Unit 44,000 pounds of aluminum.

Aluminum (AL, COMEX) chart

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