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Copper scrap discounts inch up in slow market

Keywords: Tags  copper scrap, discounts, copper, comex, Everdeen Mason

NEW YORK — Several copper scrap discounts rose Aug. 28 as domestic demand slackened ahead of the Labor Day holiday, consumers, traders and sellers said.

"I still believe metal is on the tighter side but there’s not a great amount of metal demand," a copper scrap broker told AMM, noting that August has been quieter as Labor Day approaches.

Refiners’ copper scrap No. 1 discounts increased to 7 to 9 cents per pound from 6 to 8 cents last week. Based on the Aug. 28 Comex copper price for September, the most actively traded contract, refiners’ copper scrap No. 1 prices were around $3.22 to $3.24 per pound.

Almost all ingot makers’ scrap discounts changed, with copper scrap No. 1 rising to 10 to 13 cents per pound from 9 to 12 cents, putting prices at $3.17 to $3.20 per pound, and copper scrap No. 2 discounts increasing to 27 to 29 cents per pound from 24 to 26 cents, putting prices at $3.01 to $3.03 per pound.

Discounts for brass mill copper scrap bare bright remained unchanged at zero to 2 cents per pound, putting prices at $3.28 to $3.30 per pound, indicating that low demand coupled with tight supply has leveled out the market.

"I don’t think there’s a huge demand," a copper scrap consumer said. "But there’s not a whole lot of scrap—at least, not as much as there used to be."

Sources said that construction is a major indicator of the amount of scrap available. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000, up 20.9 percent from July 2012.

"I just don’t think they’re out there building stuff like they say they are," the copper scrap consumer said.

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