December 4, 2018 / 10:20 AM / 6 months ago

Japan aluminium buyer agrees Q1 premium at $85/T, a 2-year low -sources

TOKYO, Dec 4 (Reuters) - A Japanese aluminium buyer has agreed to pay a global producer a premium of $85 per tonne over the benchmark price for shipments in January to March, the lowest in more than two years, two sources involved in pricing talks said on Tuesday.

That is down 17 percent from a premium of $103 per tonne in the current quarter and marks the second consecutive quarterly drop. It is also lower than the initial offers of $91-$93 made by producers.

Japan is Asia's biggest importer of aluminium and the premiums PREM-ALUM-JP for primary metal shipments it agrees to pay each quarter over the benchmark London Metal Exchange cash price set the benchmark for the region.

The latest quarterly price negotiations began last month between Japanese buyers and global producers, including Rio Tinto, South32 Ltd and Alcoa Corp .

Other Japanese buyers are still negotiating with global suppliers, with further deals expected later this month. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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