Copper scrap buys at a standstill; January pickup is eyed

Nov 21, 2008 | 12:18 PM | Tom Jennemann

The copper scrap market is living almost entirely hand-to-mouth as depressed pricing and non-existent demand have brought the market to a grinding halt, market sources said.

"I don't know anyone who wants to buy anything right now. There might be some fool out there who says that this is the bottom and I'm going to buy all I can, but I haven't met that fool yet," said one brass ingot maker in North America.

The market has slowed to a point that scrap is being bought on an as-needed basis. "We've pretty much emptied the scrap inventory, except for one or two items," the ingot maker said. "I'm now looking at things on a week-to-week basis, which I never had to do before. Years ago .?.?. you had to carry a 90-day inventory between your ingot on the floor and your purchased scrap, but you can't operate the way you used to."....

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