US weekly export copper scrap spreads widened across most grades amid a strong Comex copper market and sluggish trading.
The Davis Index weekly spread for export #2 copper (birch/cliff) widened by 2.8¢/lb to 58.7¢/lb under the next active Comex copper contract while bare bright’s (barley) spread widened by 1.8¢/lb to 19.3¢/lb under Comex.
The Comex copper market was volatile over the week, breaching its highest point since 2011 before correcting on Feb 25-26. The next active Comex contract settled at $4.22/lb on Wednesday, 3¢/lb above its close of $4.19/lb on Feb 24.
Transaction prices for all grades declined this week. #2 copper decreased by 20¢/lb to $3.56/lb fas and Bare bright (barley) fell by the same amount to $3.94/lb fas US port. Some market participants attributed the price declines to offers that are flooding the market and last week’s correction in the Comex copper market.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire and tube (berry/candy) widened by 0.7¢/lb to 27.5¢/lb under the next active Comex, with Wednesday’s transaction price dropping by 15¢/lb to $3.86/lb fas US port.
Reduced activity, ample supply, and high freight costs have defined the week for the export copper scrap market. However, importers are absent, preferring to wait for some stability in the LME and Comex copper markets and transaction prices to soften further before they resume buying.