US weekly brass scrap spreads widened in a quiet market with Comex copper climbing to its highest mark since January.
The weekly Davis Index for C-200 series alloy’s copper spread widened by 1¢/lb to 12¢/lb under the Comex copper spot contract. The C-200 series zinc spread widened by 0.4¢/lb to 5.7¢/lb, under the LME zinc cash contract.
Like copper, most brass consumers have also locked in their volumes and do not expect spreads to change much at least until mid-March. Some market participants speculated that the substantial rise in Comex copper could cause spreads to widen further.
Scrap flows to brass mills have also been affected by the extreme winter weather being experienced across the Midwest and East Coast of the US. Deliveries at some mills have slowed down, while scrapyards have recorded reduced flows. Still, compared to copper scrap flows brass seems to be in tighter supply and some consumers have received fewer offers for brass grades than they have for copper.
This tightness sent prices for some brass scrap grades soaring over the past week. The weekly Davis Index for 360-rod borings increased by 7.1¢/lb to $2.617/lb delivered US consumer. Brass radiators inched up by 0.5¢/lb to $1.995/lb delivered during the week.
The Comex spot copper contract settled at $3.802/lb on Friday, up by 17.1¢/lb from a week ago to mark its highest price this year. The spot LME zinc official contract rose by $157/mt from Feb 5 to close at $2,793.50/mt on Friday.