US weekly export copper scrap spreads widened for most grades on Wednesday following soaring Comex copper prices.
The Davis Index weekly spread for export #2 copper (birch/cliff) widened by 0.5¢/lb to 56¢/lb under the next active Comex copper contract while bare bright’s (barley) spread widened by 1.4¢/lb to 18.5¢/lb under Comex.
The Comex copper market, surged this week with the next active Comex contract rising by 17.5¢/lb from last week to close at $4.295/lb on Wednesday. Strong long-term fundamentals and a softening US dollar have spurred the Comex market higher this week, with the daily Comex spot prices rising by 6¢/lb to $4.28/lb today from $4.22/lb on Apr 20.
Transaction prices for all grades increased this week with #2 copper rising by 17¢/lb to $3.73/lb fas and bare bright (barley) climbing by 16¢/lb to $4.10/lb fas US port.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire and tube (berry/candy) widened by 1.1¢/lb to 25.8¢/lb under the next active Comex, with Wednesday’s transaction price increasing by 15¢/lb to $4.03/lb fas US port for the grade.
Rising COVID-19 cases and the ensuing lockdowns in copper buying countries like India has tempered scrap demand from Asia. High freight costs continue to weigh on negotiations with some suppliers seeing an increase of $150-200/mt for containers over the past month. Still, demand from China is improving for cleaner grades like birch/cliff and berry/candy, which could improve market activity over the next few weeks.