The weekly spreads for US domestic copper scrap trended sideways on Tuesday amid currency fluctuations and a rangebound Comex copper market.
Comex copper closed today at $4.35/lb down by a penny from Aug 3 in a rangebound market that saw spot deals almost drying up.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire & tube widened by 0.2¢/lb at 23.1¢/lb under the August Comex contract, with the grade’s weekly transaction price dropping by 1¢/lb to $4.12/lb delivered.
Spreads for US bare bright copper scrap (barley) tightened by 0.4¢/lb for the second successive week to 14.8¢/lb under the August Comex contract on Tuesday. Demand for this grade remained strong with offers heard at spreads as narrow as 12¢/lb delivered though no deals were confirmed at those levels. Bare bright’s transaction price declined by 0.2¢/lb to $4.202/lb delivered US consumer.
For #2 light copper too, the spread narrowed by 0.4¢/lb to 60.7¢/lb under the August Comex contract while its transaction price fell by 0.1¢/lb to $3.743/lb delivered US consumer.
Market fundamentals remain strong and the rangebound trend this week is being attributed to macroeconomic factors such as currency fluctuations and the volatility in Comex copper and other base metals markets.
Spreads have also remained steady due to smelter shutdowns over the summer, which has softened demand. Still, scrap flows remain healthy, balancing the market. The export market especially for high-grade copper to China is picking up, which may lead to a slight tightening of spreads in the near term.