US copper scrap buyers see flat December

Dec 01, 2010 | 12:01 PM |

Brass and bronze ingot makers see quiet demand from end-users through year-end, but say that a resulting flatness in the ingot scrap market might be punctuated by some restocking and competition from scrap substitution.

"We're in those really slow months," one ingot maker said. "Even though our business has been good, we're really holding back (scrap) purchases."

Scrap spreads for domestic ingot makers, or the discounts of scrap to terminal markets, narrowed early this week vs. two weeks ago, largely due to falling copper cathode prices as demand remained flat.

The discount to Comex for No. 1 bare bright reached the 10- to 13-cent-per-pound range Tuesday. Comex's March-delivery contract, the most active month, was trading $3.818 per pound Wednesday, down 0.2 percent from Tuesday's settlement at $3.8255 per pound. Should the Comex price rise later this week, spreads should likewise widen as a reflection of slow underlying demand for scrap.....

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