US export copper scrap spreads widened over the past week as the Comex market kicked into high gear beating its high for the year this past week.
The next active Comex contract closed on Wednesday at $2.88/lb, up 6¢/lb from $2.82/lb on July 8. The Comex market peaked in early January at $2.87/lb, until besting that mark on July 13 at $2.96/lb, marking a significant recovery from its low of $2.10/lb on March 23.
The weekly Davis Index for #1 copper wire and tube increased by 5¢/lb to $2.71/lb fas US port, while the index for #2 copper jumped by 4.6¢/lb to $2.59/lb fas on Wednesday. The index for bare bright (barley) increased by 4¢/lb to $2.78/lb fas US port.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire and tube (berry/candy) was slightly wider at 16.7¢/lb fas US ports under the next active Comex contract, while the spread for #2 copper (birch/cliff) widened by 0.9¢/lb to 29.3¢/lb fas US port, under the same contract. The spread for bare bright (barley) was worse by 0.8¢/lb at 9.6¢/lb fas under the next active Comex contract.
Spreads have widened slightly on the steady rise in the Comex market this month. However, scrap is still tight, and consumers are careful not to push too hard, which could result in scrap flows slowing down. The Comex market receded slightly on July 14, declining by 3¢/lb from Monday, and lost another 5¢/lb on Wednesday. Demand from Asia should help but that requires another round of quotas as space on the ninth batch is limited.