In a dramatic shift from a year ago, customers rushing to secure supply are left with far less haggling power, leading to ever-higher fees. ; Buyers in Japan agreed to pay a premium of 185 about 20,240 per ton above benchmark London prices for the coming quarter, the highest in six years, according to five people familiar with the matter, according to The Japan Times. That's more than double the level seen a year earlier, when demand suffered due to the global coronavirus outbreak. Producers of the lightweight metal are increasingly calling the shots in pricing talks with Japanese buyers as demand climbs amid a tightening global market driven by economies recovering from the pandemic. Further, in a sign of how clearly the sellers have gained the upper hand, the negotiations involved a rare notice from a producer saying that if its initial offer wasn't agreed to, the price would be raised, according to three of the people who asked not to be identified because talks are private. Japanese buyers seem to have had to accept the higher premium to secure enough supply, because otherwise ingot would be diverted to other countries, said Takeshi Irisawa, an analyst at Tachibana Securities Co. Typically, producers present their highest prices at the start of talks and gradually lower their offer as they seek deals. (news.financializer.com).
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