NEW YORK Copper scrap
discounts continued to tighten May 1 as market participants
grappled with wide fluctuations on Comex that one trader said
are not "necessarily reflective of actual supply and demand
The discount for refiners
No. 2 copper scrap fell to 24 to 26 cents per pound below Comex
from 25 to 27 cents previously, putting prices in a range of
$2.82 to $2.84 per pound.
The discount for brass ingot
makers No. 2 copper scrap fell to 23 to 25 cents per
pound below Comex from a 24- to 26-cent discount a week
earlier, putting prices at $2.83 to $2.85 per pound based on a
July-delivery Comex copper contract settlement price of $3.08
per pound May 1.
"Nobody knows whats
happening in this market," one copper scrap seller said. "Are
these drops on Comex realbased on business and looking at
technical analysis? Or is this just the speculators doing
trades in hopes of making some extra cash?"
"Demand has been pretty steady
over the past few months," a second seller said. "But its
really a supply issue at this point. There just isnt a
lot of material out there."
Meanwhile, prices for brass
scrap were mostly steady May 1, with sources indicating that
overseas demandparticularly from China and South
Koreahad picked up over the past few weeks.
Red brass (No. 1 composition
solids) was the only grade to register a price change May 1,
falling to a range of $2.50 to $2.53 per pound from $2.51 to
$2.54 previously. One seller indicated that he sold a straight
load of red brass to export clients at $2.55 per pound. "They
needed the material immediately and were willing to pay up," he
said. "I am pretty sure it was going to Korea."
All other secondary grades were