NEW YORK Copper cathode delivered premiums held steady as business remains sluggish despite higher demand, according to traders.
AMMs delivered premiums for copper cathode remain at 6 to 8 cents per pound, down from 7 to 9 cents per pound a month ago.
"Theres no real change or business," one trader told AMM. "Its kind of dead. Some years we dont get like this, but this year its more than the typical summer doldrums."
Business should start picking up again in the second half of August, he said.
Other traders have switched their focus to copper scrap.
"Its mostly because of the freight costs of copper," a second trader said. "Its cheaper to go into China than it is to go into the U.S."
High demand in China, the wall slide at Kennecott Utah Coppers Bingham Mine in April and the allure of warehouse incentives have shrunk the amount of spot copper available for domestic consumers, a third trader said.
The London Metal Exchanges U.S.-based warehouses held 215,400 tonnes of copper on July 23, up 2 percent from a month ago.
Despite demand, many consumers have enough material to last through the summer through contracts, a copper consumer source said.
While business is slow, wire mills have the most chance of rebounding.
"Some of the wire mills are doing better, but theyre going to thinner wire, which uses less copper," a fourth trader said. "Its probably very good for the wire users."