NEW YORK Copper and brass
scrap prices moved mostly sideways this past week, with some
grades shifting a penny in either direction as the market
awaits stronger cues from the supply chain.
Market participants said that an
increasingly scarce supply due to the cold weather could narrow
price spreads between scrap and terminal markets.
Discount spreads off Comex for
bare bright copper scrap sourced by ingot makers inched up to 9
to 12 cents per pound from 8 to 11 cents previously, while
spreads on brass mill No. 1 scrapcommonly called
Candyalso rose a penny to 8 to 10 cents per pound from 7
to 9 cents.
Most other copper scrap grade
prices remained unchanged for the week, although sources said
radiator prices inched up a penny to a range of $2.26 to $2.29
per pound due to tighter supply conditions brought on by the
The main topic of conversation
among buyers and sellers this week was the potential impact of
dramatically lower temperatures.
"Weather will kill 75 percent of
our customer base," one supplier said. "People dont want
to load in this weather, and its hard for customers to
A second supplier said supply
was tightening. "Scrap peddlers simply dont want to go
out into the cold," he said.
"Cold spells mean metal
doesnt move as much," one consumer said. "If someone
needs material right now, they are probably going to have to
pay up a little bit."
"Equipment issues arise when the
cold hits hard," a third supplier said. "Our trucks have more
trouble getting on the road and our sorting equipment breaks
Temperatures across the nation
are likely to remain frigid for the next week, according to the
National Weather Service, with snow storms expected in the
Midwest and East Coast on Jan. 25.