US copper scrap export spreads remained unchanged from last week as Chinese buyers slowed down activity in anticipation of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Transactional prices fell on average by 8.5¢/lb on the weakness in the Comex exchange, with the next active Comex contract falling from $2.85/lb a week ago to Wednesday’s close at $2.77/lb.
Spreads for #1 copper wire and tube (Berry/Candy) fas US port remained unchanged at 24¢/lb, the same as last week. Spreads for #2 copper (Birch/Cliff) fas US port spreads held at 43¢/lb under Comex. Bare Bright (Barley) spreads were also unchanged at 15¢/lb under Comex fas US ports.
The Davis Index for #1 and #2 copper fas US port scrap grades decreased by around 9¢/lb compared to last week with prices for #1 copper fas US port falling to $2.54/lb on Wednesday, compared to $2.63/lb from the previous week’s index. The Index for #2 copper fas US port was down from $2.44/lb to $2.35/lb.
The Davis Index for Bare Bright (Barley) fas US port also declined from $2.71/lb to $2.62/lb on Wednesday.
Despite some strength in the domestic market, exporters have fewer options to sell as Chinese markets are absent due to the Lunar New Year until the start of next week.
Markets participants expect the market to remain flat with some cautious optimism moving through Q1 as the dust settles on the trade talks and new concerns over the US conflict in the Middle East.