The weekly spreads for US domestic copper scrap trended flat to wide on Tuesday amid a jump in Comex copper prices and mixed demand.
Comex copper closed today at $4.56/lb up 29¢/lb from Jul 20. Comex copper began the week more than 10¢/lb above Friday’s close, restricting spot deals despite demand in the market. Some participants expect Comex copper to touch $4.60/lb this week.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire & tube held unchanged at 23.7¢/lb under the July Comex contract, with the grade’s weekly transaction price increasing by 29¢/lb to $4.323/lb delivered.
Spreads for US bare bright copper scrap (barley) widened by 0.1¢/lb to 15.6¢/lb under the July Comex contract on Tuesday, with its transaction price jumping by 28.9¢/lb to $4.404/lb delivered US consumer. Some offers in North Carolina for this grade were heard at spreads as tight as 6¢/lb under the July Comex contract, though no deals were reported at those levels.
For #2 light copper too, the spread widened by a penny to 61.6¢/lb under the July Comex contract. The export spreads for this grade are trending in a wide range depending on destination with bids heard at spreads as narrow as 56¢/lb and as wide as 70¢/lb. The transaction price for #2 light rose by 28.1¢/lb to $3.944/lb delivered US consumer.
Market participants expect spreads to widen further if Comex copper continues to trend higher amid regional variance in demand. Scrap flows remain healthy and adequate. However, the rising number of COVID-19 infections has participants concerned about potential shutdowns and their impact on supply trends in a market that is already grappling with high freight rates.