LONDON European copper
scrap supply remains tight despite rebounding copper prices
since mid-April, market sources said.
Intensifying competition for
material and lower overall scrap generation is keeping
Europes copper scrap supply constrained, traders and
consumers told AMM sister publication Metal
Bulletin May 21.
Global copper scrap supply fell
in April as prices dropped 11 percent on the London Metal
Exchange. However, dealers in Europe havent yet released
significant volumes of scrap back into the market following the
recent price rebound, sources said.
Three-month copper settled at
$7,510 per tonne May 22, up 9.8 percent from lows of $6,842
While the higher prices for the
red metal could stimulate new copper scrap supply over the
coming weeks, availability will remain constrained as long as
overall scrap generation remains weak and China continues to
bid for material, market sources in Europe said.
No. 2 scrap with a copper
content of 94 to 96 percent continues to trade at a narrow
discount to the LME price. In some cases, discounts are as low
as 3 percent, a source at a copper refinery told said.
In some cases, 96- to 98-percent
No. 1 copper scrap is trading at a premium in the thinly
supplied European market, following a trend seen more widely in
the United States and China, a source at a large scrap dealer
Pricing is also an issue for
consumers of No. 2 scrap, such as copper smelters. But
availability is a bigger problem for copper fabricators looking
to buy No. 1 scrap, the smelter source said.
"No. 1 scrap is very difficult
to find at any price, and that is starting to affect supply for
these plants. Were seeing this in the increased orders
were getting for cathode. Fabricators are producing the
same amount of wire rod, but they need to use more cathode to
do so," he said.
A version of this article
was first published in AMM sister publication Metal