US weekly brass scrap spreads were rangebound and prices declined on Friday following lower Comex copper prices during the week. Demand for brass remains stable, though issues with transportation and long delivery times continue to concern market participants.
Comex spot copper contract closed at $4.35/lb down 22¢/lb from Jul 30 while the spot LME zinc official cash contract fell by $33/mt to $3,006/mt over the same period.
The weekly Davis Index for C-200 series alloy’s copper spread tightened by 0.1¢/lb to 12.7¢/lb under the Comex copper spot contract, while the C-200 series zinc spread, tightened by 0.2¢/lb to 6¢/lb under the LME zinc cash contract.
Brass prices have dropped in tandem with the declines in Comex copper and LME zinc over the past week. The weekly Davis Index for 360-rod borings declined by 1.6¢/lb to $3.029/lb delivered US consumer. Brass radiators dropped by 6.2¢/lb to $2.515/lb delivered, while red brass solids fell by 3¢/lb to $3.293/lb delivered giving up most of its gains from last week.
This decrease has also subdued sales as some suppliers are unwilling to sell at these lower prices, preferring to keep the inventory and stalling scrap flows to smelters. On the other hand, lower prices and hesitancy on part of larger sellers have benefited smaller scrapyards looking to sell all their inventory while the copper market prices are still at somewhat acceptable levels.
Buyers who have completed their purchases are perturbed by longer delivery times caused by transportation shortages. Scheduling loads remains a problem due to unreliable road transportation. Rail freight also continues to rise with ad-hoc increases in pick up charges adding to buyers’ costs.