US export copper scrap spreads widened over the past week on a strong Comex copper market, which is hovering just below its peak for the year.
The weekly Davis Index for #1 copper wire and tube fell by 1.3¢/lb to $3.317/lb fas US port. Simultaneously, the #2 copper index stepped down by 1¢/lb to $3.07/lb fas on Wednesday. The bare bright (barley) index, however, increased by 0.9¢/lb to $3.396/lb fas US port.
The Davis Index spread for #1 copper wire, and tube (berry/candy) widened by 1¢/lb to 23.3¢/lb fas US ports under the next active Comex contract. The spread for #2 copper (birch/cliff) was worse by 0.8¢/lb at 48¢/lb fas US port, under Comex’s next active month, while the spread for bare bright (barley) was at 15.4¢/lb fas under the same contract, weaker by 0.9¢/lb.
The next active Comex contract closed on Wednesday at $3.55/lb, flat from Dec 23.
The range of spreads continues to widen with varying interest levels from consumers. The market has been quiet over the week due to the Christmas and New Year holidays in the US.
Exporting the copper scrap to China remains problematic with a shroud of confusion around the new scrap classifications, preventing many suppliers from shipping to the Asian nation. In fact, some exporters have canceled shipments due to their inability to meet the new specifications. Market participants are hopeful that 2021 will bring better pricing and more clarity into the market place.