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US copper scrap discounts narrow

Keywords: Tags  copper scrap, brass scrap, Comex, bare bright, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Discounts for some copper scrap grades eased June 12, with sources noting that ongoing supply concerns and strong demand from overseas were serving to bolster prices.

"If a supplier has a good load of bare bright to ship, they can pretty much name their price," one copper scrap trader said. "But there hasn’t been a lot of scrap out there, so it doesn’t really matter. If Comex gets a nice bump, supply will open up a little bit and sellers will start offering material again."

The July Comex contract, the most actively traded, settled at $3.185 per pound June 13, down 4.2 percent from $3.319 a week earlier.

Brass ingot makers’ No. 1 copper scrap discounts dipped to 12 to 14 cents per pound below Comex from a 13- to 15-cent discount a week earlier, putting prices at $3.09 to $3.11 per pound. Discounts for No. 2 copper scrap decreased to 25 to 28 cents below Comex ($2.95 to $2.98 per pound) from 26 to 29 cents in the same comparison.

Discounts for refiners’ No. 2 copper scrap fell to 24 to 26 cents below Comex from 25 to 27 cents, putting prices at $2.97 to $2.99 per pound.

Meanwhile, all grades of brass scrap were unchanged, as market participants indicated that demand continued to outpace declines on Comex.

"There seems to be big export demand for radiators right now," a brass scrap trader said. "I don’t think radiators are as plentiful as they used to be. ... I wouldn’t be surprised to see radiator prices move higher over the next six months."

Conversely, one brass scrap seller noted that overseas demand has pulled back. "The Chinese have been absent for the better part of two weeks," he said. "It’s going to be a bleak summer."

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