The weekly spreads for US domestic copper scrap tightened for most grades as demand improved.
Comex copper spot prices climbed by 13¢/lb from May 25 to $4.65/lb today, though they remained well below the record high for the year of $4.80/lb reached on May 11.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire & tube tightened by 2¢/lb to 24.7¢/lb under the June Comex contract, with the grade’s weekly transaction price rising by 16¢/lb to $4.41/lb delivered.
Spreads for US bare bright copper scrap (barley) widened by 0.5¢/lb to 16.5¢/lb under the June Comex contract on Tuesday, with its transaction price climbing by 13¢/lb to $4.49/lb delivered US consumer.
For #2 light copper, the spread narrowed by 0.9¢/lb to 55.5¢/lb under the June Comex contract while its transaction price increased by 14¢/lb to $4.10/lb delivered US consumer.
Demand, which had been sluggish in the domestic market since the beginning of May, began improving towards the end of last month and firmed up as participants returned after the Memorial Day weekend. The availability of labor is also anticipated to improve after the CDC relaxed COVID-19 restrictions across the US on increasing numbers of vaccinated people and dropping infections. More availability of labor is likely to improve trading activity and bring down costs for buyers and sellers.
Spot trades are picking up in the domestic market as more mills return to buy volumes for June and July and the domestic copper scrap market is expected to remain busy through this month. Still, the shutdown of some mills for maintenance this summer may weigh on trades towards the end of this month.