Copper premiums soften on demand decline

Dec 11, 2006 | 09:27 AM | Sean Barry

U.S. copper premiums have softened as spot demand for metal dries up and warehouse stocks rise.

A dearth of business activity comes as consumers report weak order books following a slowdown in the residential construction and automotive industries and pressure mounts to reduce inventories by the end of the year.

The copper premium spread has widened, with the bottom end of the range falling 0.5 cent to put premiums at 5 to 6 cents a pound delivered to most U.S. destinations.

"There's no one buying copper at the moment. Everyone is covered for December and January," one trader said, adding that premiums were still being buoyed by high freight costs. "A lot of mills are very quiet and there are some nervous people out there because certain sectors like housing and automotive don't really look like picking up anytime soon."....

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