US weekly export copper scrap spreads held unchanged for most grades on Wednesday due to soft demand and a volatile Comex copper market.
The Davis Index weekly spread for export #2 copper (birch/cliff) remained unchanged at 59¢/lb under the next active Comex copper contract while bare bright’s (barley) spread tightened by 0.8¢/lb to 18.2¢/lb under Comex.
The Comex copper market, which breached its highest point since 2011 on Mar 3, has been volatile ever since. The next active Comex contract settled at $4.11/lb on Wednesday up by 8¢/lb from its close of $4.03/lb on Mar 10, but down 3¢/lb from its close of $4.14/lb on Tuesday.
Transaction prices for all grades increased this week with #2 copper increasing by 9¢/lb to $3.53/lb fas and bare bright (barley) rising by the same amount to $3.94/lb fas US port.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire and tube (berry/candy) was flat at 28.5¢/lb under the next active Comex, with Wednesday’s transaction price rising by 9¢/lb to $3.85/lb fas US port for the grade.
Export copper scrap demand is soft as the market remains uncertain about the impact of China’s environmental policies on the scrap imports to the nation. Demand from other Asian nations was also muted, with buyers from countries like India looking at alternate outlets like Africa to source scrap at lower prices.