US copper scrap prices slide, little let-up is seen

Nov 07, 2008 | 12:11 PM | Tom Jennemann

Copper scrap prices eroded further this week as Chinese buyers continue to renege on contracts and the U.S. domestic slowdown shows few signs of abating, market sources said.

One of the major issues in the industry is that Chinese consumers, the predominant buyers of scrap during the past two years, haven't only left the market due to their own supply/demand imbalance but are also refusing to honor existing contracts and orders, sources said.

"The (copper scrap) dealers are preoccupied with repairing their Chinese business or at least salvaging something," one North American-based brass ingot maker said. "For the most part, people have been burnt so badly, from reneging and not honoring commitments, that they don't want anything to do with Chinese business. As matter of fact, most of them don't even want to go near a Chinese restaurant anymore. It's going to take a long time to revive those relationships."....

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