* Major producer wants premiums of around $125 per T
* Comes as U.S., Europe premiums climb
* Japan is Asia's top aluminium importer
(Adds comment, detail)
TOKYO, Feb 20 A major aluminium producer has
made an indicative offer of a premium of $125 per tonne to
Japanese buyers for April-June primary metal shipments, up 32
percent from the last quarter, three sources directly involved
in pricing talks said on Monday.
The offer comes as premiums climb in the United States and
Europe, and as some Japanese buyers face lower inventories due
to healthy local demand.
The sources, who declined to name the producer, did not want
to be identified as they were not authorised to speak with
Japan is Asia's biggest aluminium importer and the premiums
for primary metal shipments that it agrees to pay each quarter
over the London Metal Exchange (LME) cash price set the
benchmark for the region.
"A producer sent us an email last Friday with an indicative
price of $125, citing higher overseas premiums and lower
inventories in Japan," said a source at an end-user in Japan.
U.S. spot premiums and European spot premiums have risen by
about $30-40 per tonne over the past three months, according to
"Given stronger overseas premiums, we will need to accept an
increase for the next quarter. But we would aim to get somewhere
between $115-120 a tonne," said a source at a trading firm.
For the January-March quarter, Japanese buyers agreed to pay
a premium of $95 per tonne PREM-ALUM-JP, up 27 percent from
the prior quarter due to higher spot premiums.
The quarterly pricing negotiations between Japanese buyers
and miners, including Rio Tinto Ltd , Alcoa Inc
, South32 Ltd and Rusal, are expected
to continue through next month.
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Joseph Radford)