NEW YORK Copper consumers
have stopped buying spot material for the year and few
long-term orders have been placed for 2013, according to
"Consumers are flat for November
and December, and we dont see any new business coming for
the rest of the year," a trader told AMM.
Copper premiums have decreased
to 5 to 6.5 cents per pound from 5.5 to 7 cents previously,
with little business reported and the high of 7 cents per pound
deemed no longer achievable.
"Premiums are a little softer,"
a second trader said. "I dont think anyone can get 7
Consumers are less willing to
buy extra material, given the level of uncertainty going
forward, sources said.
"Theres a number of
reasons: theres uncertainty premiums-wise, theres
the fact that on the fabricator side nothing has been done yet
and theres still a bit of uncertainty over the economy,"
a third trader said.
Stocks in London Metal
Exchange-listed warehouses in New Orleans rose by 1,000 tonnes
Tuesday as market participants found few other homes for
"Most of the copper that is
going into warehouses is imported, so it would make sense that
its going into New Orleans as its near the port,"
the first trader said.
The lack of uncertainty has
extended to next years contracts. "We havent seen
any business for the first quarter. I think consumers are
looking to buy less on contract for next year and more spot,"
the first trader said.
"Most of the traders are in the
same position," the second trader said.
More contract business has
usually been booked by this time of year following the American
Copper Councils fall meeting, which took place in Fort
Lauderdale, Fla., in mid-November, usually kicking off the
mating season domestically.
"There was a lot less done at
ACC this year," a fourth trader said.
The inaugural Cesco Asia Week in
Shanghai this past week could be behind consumer hesitancy to
book forward business, a fifth trader said, who was still
hopeful of locking in some forward contracts with customers
over the next two weeks.
Traders previously had been
hopeful of a pickup in business after the presidential
"First the excuse was the
election, now its the fiscal cliff," the fourth trader
said. "All Im getting is No, not
Copper prices on Comexs
most actively traded contract settled above $3.60 per pound
Thursday, which could lead to further delays in purchasing as
the market waits to see if it can be sustained.
"No one wants to be the first to
say a number for next years premiums. (Chiles
Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile) announced their
premiums for Europe and Asia, but no one knows what it is for
the U.S. Consumers want some direction first," the fifth trader