NEW YORK The
copper cathode spot market has ground to a halt, earlier in the
seasonally slow summer period than expected, according to
premiums for copper cathode held at 7 to 9 cents per pound June
12, with few transactions reported as consumers chose to sit
out of the spot market.
Demand, which is
typically busy through the end of June, has eased off early, a
trader told AMM. "Its supposed to be pretty busy
through June for a couple of weeks as they buy for the fall. We
havent seen that. People are not asking (for material),"
Even lower copper
prices have failed to lure buyers back to the market.
Comex prices dropped
to $3.193 per pound June 11, the lowest level since May 2 when
it traded at $3.1045, although prices recovered slightly June
12 to $3.2255 per pound. The drop in Comex prices took some
physical market participants by surprise (
amm.com, June 10).
"I dont see (the
low price) having any impact," the trader said.
"Demand is pretty crappyits just a lack of
A second trader called
the market "abnormally quiet," while a third said that
"business is not good and theres nothing we can do about
Traders had expected
spot demand to be better following the wall slide at Kennecott
Utah Coppers Bingham Canyon Mine in April, but with
Kennecott managing to fulfill its contractual obligations for
amm.com, May 29) and supply coming in from
overseas, theres little extra demand around, market
"Kennecott produced 25
percent of copper in North America," a consumer source said.
"We cant get material out of (London Metal
Exchange-listed) warehouses so we had to make contracts
A fourth trader said
his company had got out of copper cathode altogether due to the
lack of activity and opportunities in the copper scrap market.
"My impression is that people are trying to buy No. 1 (copper
scrap), plus its the summer and the shutdowns are
starting soon," he said. Larger companies are better able to
weather the current market conditions and can get larger
amounts of copper at lower prices, he added.