US export copper scrap spreads widened slightly across most grades this past week as exports remained subdued amid rising Comex copper prices.
The Davis Index weekly spread for export #2 copper (birch/cliff) widened by 2.2¢/lb to 48¢/lb under the next active Comex copper contract and the spread for bare bright (barley) widened by 0.7¢/lb to 10.6¢/lb under Comex.
The next active Comex contract settled at $3.79/lb on Wednesday, surging to its highest point since the beginning of the year and closing 21¢/lb above its close of $3.58/lb on Feb 3.
A surging Comex meant that transaction prices for all grades increased despite widening spreads on a weekly basis. #2 copper rose by 20.2¢/lb to $3.31/lb fas on Wednesday. Bare bright (barley) increased by 21.7¢/lb to $3.684/lb fas US port.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire and tube (berry/candy) widened by 0.5¢/lb to 23.5¢/lb under the next active Comex, with Wednesday’s transaction price surging by 23¢/lb at $3.561/lb fas US port.
Exporters are awaiting cues from the Asian markets. On the other hand, Asian buyers are choosing to wait for some correction in LME and Comex copper markets so that transaction prices are closer to the levels they envision. Some exporters in the US, especially those on the East Coast have also experienced supply disruptions due to the winter weather, which has kept activity muted for now.