NEW YORK A recent
weakening in terminal markets has copper and brass scrap
sellers waiting for major international consumers to re-enter
the market, sources told AMM.
"We just got past the Chinese
New Year (holiday)," one brass scrap seller said. "Once the
Chinese start buying again, it could affect spreads. We are
basically waiting for them to come back online."
Others said that Chinese
consumers were the driving force behind fluctuations in
domestic prices on both the terminal and secondary markets.
"If China is in the market, it
goes up. If China is out of the market, it goes down," a second
brass scrap seller said. "Its that simple."
Comex copper for May delivery
closed at $3.567 per pound Feb. 27, down 1.1 percent from
$3.608 a week earlier.
Red brass scrap continued to
trend with Comex, falling to a range of $2.65 to $2.68 per
pound Feb. 27 from $2.67 to $2.70 a week earlier, borings and
turnings fell to $2.63 to $2.65 per pound from $2.65 to $2.67,
and radiators weakened to $2.26 to $2.29 per pound from $2.27
Some copper scrap grades also
were lower Feb. 27, although market participants noted that
despite a 3-cent drop on the Comex, supply concerns kept most
The discount for brass
mills No. 1 copper scrap narrowed to 6 to 8 cents
below Comex compared with a 7- to 9-cent discount a week
earlier, putting prices at $3.49 to $3.51 per pound, and
refiners copper scrap No. 2 narrowed to a 34- to
36-cent discount from a 35- to 37-cent discount, putting prices
at $3.21 to $3.23 per pound.
"The inventories are still down
and there is diminished activity in the manufacturing sector,"
a copper scrap buyer said. "People are becoming increasingly
reluctant to part with their material."
All other secondary grades were