The spreads for US export copper scrap tightened across all grades, while prices decreased after the Comex market came off its peak of $3.20/lb this week.
The market has struggled with excess supply and tepid demand, but activity is picking up in Southeast Asia ahead of China’s return to the market.
The next active Comex contract closed on Wednesday at $3.06/lb, down from $3.19/lb, a week ago.
The weekly Davis Index for #1 copper wire and tube declined by 3.9¢/lb to $2.78/lb fas US port, while the index for #2 copper stepped down by 5.8¢/lb to $2.64/lb fas on Wednesday. The bare bright (barley) index decreased by 3.9¢/lb to $2.01/lb fas US port.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire, and tube (berry/candy) tightened by 4.2¢/lb to 28.3¢/lb fas US ports under the next active Comex contract and the spread for #2 copper (birch/cliff) was better by 2.7¢/lb at 41.8¢/lb fas US port, under the same contract. The spread for bare bright (barley) was narrowed by 3.7¢/lb to 19.5¢/lb fas under the next active Comex contract.
Uncertainty around the new classifications for scrap imported by China has left many US suppliers unwilling to ship until some test loads pass inspections and build some confidence in the new system. On the other hand, Southeast Asian countries are working ahead of China’s return by increasing purchasing activities in anticipation of becoming a pipeline into the Chinese market in the near term.