NEW YORK The copper spot market ground to a halt during the week ended March 1 as traders continued to favor delivering metal into warehouses amid weak consumer demand and lower prices.
Three-month copper closed the London Metal Exchanges official session at $7,665 per tonne March 1, down 3 percent from $7,890 per tonne Feb. 25. Similarly, the May Comex contract closed at $3.501 per pound, down from $3.561 per pound in the same comparison.
Spot copper markets are now frozen as players wait until the bottom is established before they enter the market again. ... Were very much in pause mode, a consumer said.
The fact its winter and the market being down doesnt help things either. People will just sit on it, a trader agreed.
Market participants had expected spot copper business to pick up after Chinese buyers returned from the New Years holiday in February. This hasnt happened, sources said.
The expectation was that the Chinese would come back into the market with fury. That didnt happen, the consumer said.
Im still wondering why theres no action from them, a second trader said.
Consumers appear to have enough inventory for the next month, which means the spot market will likely remain dormant throughout March, sources said.
Global stocks have risen 43 percent from the start of the year, with LME-listed warehouses storing 458,775 tonnes at the close of business Feb. 28 compared with 320,500 tonnes Jan. 2. Copper stocks in New Orleans have risen 71 percent to 129,200 tonnes from 75,775 tonnes in the same comparison.
AMMs spot copper premiums were steady at 4.5 and 5.5 cents per pound March 1.