The weekly US export copper scrap spreads tightened again on Wednesday as the Comex lost some steam, forcing consumers to shrink the spreads to attract copper scrap in a tight supply environment.
The next active Comex contract closed on Wednesday at $2.58/lb, down 8¢/lb from $2.66/lb on June 10.
The weekly Davis Index for #1 copper wire and tube decreased by 8¢/lb to $2.44/lb fas US port, while the index for #2 copper fell by 6¢/lb to $2.31/lb fas on Wednesday. The index for bare bright (barley) increased by 6¢/lb to $2.51/lb fas US port.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire and tube (berry/candy) was tighter at 11.6¢/lb fas US ports under the next active Comex contract, while the spread for #2 copper (birch/cliff) narrowed by 2.4¢/lb to 25.9¢/lb fas US port, under the next active month on Comex. The spread for bare bright (barley) was better by 1.5¢/lb at 6.9¢/lb fas under the next active Comex contract.
Spreads began to widen as the Comex climbed higher over the past couple of weeks, but a sharp decline on June 11 down 7¢/lb was evidence of how delicate the market is. As a result, consumers tightened spreads to encourage suppliers to keep the material flowing. Now, it is up to the Comex market to do the rest.
Caution remains the prevalent sentiment in the copper scrap market as buyers and sellers straddle the dual challenges of revenue growth and cash conservation. However, the ability to hedge purchases continues to help the market eliminate risk, for both the copper scrap dealers and consumers.