The weekly US export copper scrap spreads widened on most grades on a robust Comex copper market, which has blown past $3.20/lb, its previous peak for the year reached in October, to $3.48/lb on Wednesday.
Transactional prices also rose in tandem as the Comex market seems to be rising faster than the spreads can change. The spread range has broadened over the past couple of weeks, leaving an uneasy sentiment in the market heading into the year-end.
The next active Comex contract closed on Wednesday at $3.48/lb, up from $3.31/lb, on Nov 25.
The weekly Davis Index for #1 copper wire and tube surged by 14.2¢/lb to $3.201/lb fas US port. Simultaneously, the #2 copper index stepped up by 10.5¢/lb to $3.027/lb fas on Wednesday. The bare bright (barley) index increased by 13.2¢/lb to $3.29/lb fas US port.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire, and tube (berry/candy) was wider at 26.9¢/lb fas US ports under the next active Comex contract, weaker by 1.8¢/lb. The spread for #2 copper (birch/cliff) was worse by 5.5¢/lb at 44.3¢/lb fas US port, under the next active month on Comex while the bare bright (barley) spread weakened by 2.8¢/lb to 18.2¢/lb fas under the next active Comex contract.
Some suppliers have started shipping copper scrap to China, with most going through brokers and limiting the cash risk of rejections with favorable payment terms. Others have material sitting at Chinese ports, waiting on the approval and the go-ahead to ship more.