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Discounts for copper scrap widen in US

Keywords: Tags  copper scrap, brass scrap, comex, red brass, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Most copper scrap discounts widened May 8 as market participants said that the secondary market was reacting to a recent recovery in Comex pricing.

The discount for brass ingot makers’ No. 1 bare bright copper scrap increased to 5 to 7 cents per pound below Comex from a 3- to 5-cent discount a week earlier, putting prices at $3.30 to $3.32 per pound based on a July-delivery Comex copper contract settlement price of $3.3705 per pound May 8; discounts for No. 1 copper scrap widened to 14 to 16 cents below Comex, or $3.21 to $3.23 per pound, from an 11- to 13-cent discount; and those for No. 2 copper scrap increased to 25 to 28 cents below Comex from 23 to 25 cents previously, putting prices at $3.09 to $3.12 per pound.

“It is difficult to tell if supply has improved, even as the weather is getter better,” one copper scrap trader said. “We’re not seeing extra metal coming on to the market. With a big rise on Comex you’d think a lot more metal would be available; that is not the case right now.”

The discount for refiners’ No. 1 copper scrap increased to 10 to 12 cents per pound below Comex from 9 to 11 cents previously, putting prices in a range of $3.25 to $3.27 per pound; refiners No. 2 also widened to a 25- to 27-cent discount, or $3.10 to 3.12 per pound, from 24 to 26 cents May 1.

Discounts for brass mill No. 1 copper scrap increased to 3 to 5 cents below Comex from 1 to 3 cents previously, putting prices in a range of $3.32 to 3.34 per pound.

“A lot of sellers seem to be waiting to see if Comex will head higher,” one copper scrap buyer said. “I think this wait-and-see attitude is what’s causing metal flows to continue to be off.”

July Comex, the most actively traded contract, lost ground May 9 to settle at $3.3405 per pound.

Meanwhile, prices for most grades of brass scrap increased May 8, with sources indicating that limited availability of material, coupled with strong demand from the overseas market, was causing upward price movement.

Red brass (No. 1 composition solids) rose to $2.53 to $2.58 per pound from $2.50 to $2.53 previously; composition borings and turnings increased to $2.50 to $2.55 per pound from $2.47 to $2.50; and radiators strengthened to $2.12 to $2.15 per pound from $2.10 to $2.13 per pound May 1.

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