China’s copper scrap forecast clouded as primary metal prices surge

Dec 16, 2010 | 12:00 PM | Shi Lili

There is a growing sense of restlessness in China's copper scrap market following the recent surge in primary copper prices, leaving players mixed on what direction the market might take in the short term.

Primary metal prices rocketed past $9,000 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange at the beginning of this week (AMM, Dec. 14).

Most copper scrap traders holding inventories would like to sell what they have on hand, although speculation is mounting that red metal prices could reach more than $10,000 per tonne on the LME next year.

"We would prefer to get cash in hand at the moment, which will make us feel safe, since the current historically high market price truly makes us feel unsafe," said a source in Nanhai, in southern China's Guangdong province. "But the general market has stayed inactive and trading volumes have remained quite low on the spot market, especially seeing that the year-end is the low consumption season (and) the cash flow tends to get tight during this period."....

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