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
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.