Copper scrap in flux after Comex fall

Mar 12, 2014 | 03:42 PM | Nathan Laliberte

Tags  copper scrap, scrap discounts, copper, Comex, Shanghai Chaori Solar, Mark Weintraub, Premier Metal Services, backwardation Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Discounts for most grades of copper scrap narrowed March 12 as buyers and sellers struggled to grasp the impact of steep declines in Comex copper prices, which have fallen nearly 8 percent since March 5.

The May-delivery Comex copper contract, the most active, plummeted to $2.952 per pound March 11, down 7.8 percent from $3.2025 on March 5 and the lowest level since July 2010. The contract recovered slightly March 12 to settle at $2.962 per pound.

Speculation was rife about what caused the weakness, with participants pointing to everything from algorithmic and high-frequency trading to a recent default on a bond payment by Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co. Ltd., the first company to default in China’s onshore bond market (, March 10), and rumors that domestic investment funds had begun to pull large sums of money out of copper markets in anticipation of weaker international demand.....

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