US weekly brass scrap spreads widened on Friday following a jump in Comex copper prices during the week. The volatility on Comex copper and LME Zinc notwithstanding, demand for brass remains strong though some regional variance has crept in.
Comex spot copper contract closed at $4.57/lb up 11¢/lb from Jul 23 while the spot LME zinc official cash contract increased by $95/mt to $3,039/mt over the same period.
The weekly Davis Index for C-200 series alloy’s copper spread widened by 1.2¢/lb to 12.8¢/lb under the Comex copper spot contract, while the C-200 series zinc spread, widened by 0.2¢/lb to 6.2¢/lb under the LME zinc cash contract.
Brass scrap prices increased in tandem with Comex and LME cash prices with the weekly Davis Index for 360-rod borings climbing by 2.1¢/lb to $3.045/lb delivered US consumer. Brass radiators increased by 2.2¢/lb to $2.577/lb delivered, while red brass solids jumped by 3.4¢/lb to $3.323/lb delivered amid continuing demand for red brass.
Orders and sales of brass scrap remain strong. However, the jump in Comex copper and LME zinc prices has reduced spot deals amid healthy scrap flows. If this trend continues, participants believe spreads may widen further as more mills retreat until the prices are more conducive. Mills that have already completed buying through August are also willing to purchase some grades provided the price is right.