US export copper scrap spreads widened on most grades, while prices for the material increased on a rising Comex and a market that continues to struggle with excess supply and tepid demand.
The US market was slow to react to the new export quotas released from China and has yet to find its feet amid stockpiled material in Southeast Asia and disrupted supply chains.
The next active Comex contract closed on Wednesday at $3.03/lb, up 4¢/lb from $2.99/lb on Sep 23.
The weekly Davis Index for #1 copper wire and tube was higher by 6¢/lb at $2.77/lb fas US port, while #2 copper stepped up by 1.4¢/lb to $2.627/lb fas on Wednesday. The bare bright (barley) index increased by 0.3¢/lb to $2.85/lb fas US port.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire, and tube (berry/candy) narrowed by 0.9¢/lb to 26.4¢/lb fas US ports under the next active Comex contract, though the spread for #2 copper (birch/cliff) weakened by 2.6¢/lb to 40.3¢/lb fas US port, under the next active month on Comex. The spread for bare bright (barley) was worse by 0.9¢/lb at 17.7¢/lb fas under the next active Comex contract.
The quotas released by China for more copper scrap recently, did not impact the US market contrary to US exporters’ expectations. Demand remains a struggle for the industry with market participants pointing to the election as the turning point for setting a direction forward. However, they are split on which of the two presidential candidates are better for the copper industry.