Weekly spreads for US domestic copper widened by a little more than 1.5¢/lb on Tuesday as the market resisted the surge in Comex copper prices, which have soared by over 30¢/lb over the past week.
The Comex copper spot market surged from $4.22/lb last week to settle at $4.51/lb today and has risen by almost 50¢/lb from $4.03/lb at the beginning of April on strong long-term fundamentals. Still, copper scrap spreads weakened only slightly as supply and demand balanced in the physical market.
The Davis Index spread for US bare bright copper scrap (barley) widened by 1.7¢/lb to 18¢/lb under the April Comex contract on Tuesday, with the transaction price for this grade soaring by 27¢/lb to $4.33/lb delivered US consumer.
Spreads for #1 copper wire & tube widened by 0.9¢/lb to 26¢/lb under the April Comex contract, with its weekly transaction price increasing by 28¢/lb to $4.25/lb delivered.
For #2 light copper, the spreads widened by 1.7¢/lb to 55.3¢/lb under the April Comex contract while its transaction price rose by 28¢/lb to $3.98/lb delivered US consumer.
A slight increase in demand has been met with adequate supply to cater to the market’s needs. Still, some buyers preferred to step back this week to ride out Comex copper’s rise and plan to re-enter the market once prices have stabilized. As a result, subdued trading has kept spreads from widening significantly following the surge in pricing.