US copper scrap exports decreased by 16.2pc in February from a year earlier on declining volumes to Asian countries amid COVID-19 related suspensions during that period.
Scrap exports in February decreased to 6,422mt from 9,427mt during the same month in 2019, according to the latest trade data from the US Census Bureau. Scrap exports for the first two months of the year totaled 13,735mt, down by around 25pc from the same period in 2019.
Asian countries remained the top importers of US copper scrap despite COVID-19, which was first reported in China in late December. Around 3,333mt of US copper scrap exports were shipped to China, followed by 3,269mt to South Korea, and 1,495mt shipped to Vietnam. Germany was the top European importer of US copper scrap with around 2,365mt of scrap shipped in February.
Total bare bright copper scrap exports rose by 70pc to 6,462mt in February from a year earlier. Exports of #1 copper, however, fell by 32.9pc to 5,686mt, and #2 copper exports dropped by 12pc to 8,353mt. Refined copper fell by around 11pc to 13,015mt in February compared to the same month in 2019, while other copper exports also declined by 18.8pc 21,793mt during the comparative same period.
The next active copper contract on the Comex averaged $2.54/lb in February 2020 compared to $2.929/lb in the prior year period.
Red brass scrap exports rose by 13pc to 2,305mt while yellow brass scrap exports fell by 39pc to 3,113mt in February from a year earlier.
US copper scrap imports in February were down by 31.9pc at 6,421mt from a year earlier, and fell by 25pc to 13,735mt during the first two months of the year, compared to the same period in 2019.