TOKYO, May 29 (Reuters) - A global aluminium producer has offered Japanese buyers a premium of $123 per tonne for July-September primary metal shipments, down 4 percent from the current quarter, four sources directly involved in pricing talks said on Monday.
Another seller has sought premiums of $128 a tonne, flat to the price for shipments over April-June, the sources said.
Japan is Asia’s biggest aluminium importer and the premiums for primary metal shipments it agrees to pay each quarter over the London Metal Exchange (LME) cash price set the benchmark for the region.
Spot premiums have softened in Japan and the United States, although some Japanese buyers face lower inventories due to solid local demand for automobiles and cans.
For the April-June quarter, Japanese buyers agreed to pay a premium of $128 per tonne PREM-ALUM-JP, up 35 percent from the prior quarter due to higher overseas prices.
The quarterly pricing negotiations began last week between Japanese buyers and producers, including Rio Tinto Ltd , Alcoa Inc, South32 Ltd and Rusal . The talks are expected to last through next month. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Tom Hogue)