US copper scrap spreads tightened by around a penny per pound on Tuesday compared to last week on stronger demand.
The spread for US #1 copper (Barley) tightened to 14¢/lb under Comex delivered US consumer from 15¢/lb from last week.
However, #1 copper spot prices took a hit—despite the tightness in spreads—and dropped from $2.61/lb last week to $2.55/lb on Tuesday, as the Next Active Month Comex contract decreased from $2.86/lb to $2.79/lb.
The spreads for #1 copper (Berry/Candy) and #2 copper (Birch/Cliff) both tightened by a penny to 23¢/lb and 42¢/lb, respectively, under Comex.
Spot pricing for both #1 and #2 copper grades fell on the weakness of the Comex exchange, with #1 copper (Berry/Candy) spot pricing decreasing to $2.55/lb, from $2.61/lb last week and pricing for #2 copper (Birch/Cliff), down at $2.36/lb on Tuesday, from $2.42/lb a week ago.
The tightening of the spreads was somewhat unexpected and revealed signs of strength in the US domestic market with the Chinese stepping out of the market later this week for the Lunar New Year holiday.
The US market will have to learn to adapt to the changes in the copper markets moving forward, with China expected to roll out new buying specifications after July 1 for copper scrap.