NEW YORK Discounts for most grades of copper scrap widened Dec. 18 as buyers and sellers reacted to slight upticks on Comex and a noticeable drop in "pre-holiday" trading activity.
The March-delivery Comex copper contract, the most actively traded, settled at $3.319 per pound Dec. 18, up slightly from $3.295 per pound a week earlier.
Brass ingot makers No. 1 bare bright copper scrap discounts moved to 5 to 7 cents per pound below Comex from 4 to 6 cents a week earlier, putting prices at $3.25 to $3.27 per pound. Discounts for No. 1 copper scrap increased to 12 to 14 cents per pound below Comex ($3.18 to $3.20 per pound) from 11 to 13 cents in the same comparison. Light copper discounts pulled out to 36 to 38 cents per pound below Comex ($2.94 to $2.96 per pound) from 35 to 38 cents Dec. 11.
Despite minor price fluctuations, most market participants said that overall sentiment was unchanged from a week ago.
"Pricing is almost the same as last week," one trader told AMM. "I still believe demand is decent, but it gets quieter as we move closer to the holiday and shutdowns. That being said, consumers are making certain they have units in place when they start up."
Discounts for refiners No. 1 copper scrap increased to 9 to 11 cents below Comex ($3.21 to 3.23 per pound) while brass mills No. 1 copper widened to 4 to 6 cents under Comex ($3.26 to $3.28 per pound).
Prices for most grades of brass scrap held steady, as sources said a lull in trading quelled volatility. The only grade to register a change was radiators, which moved up a penny to $2.12 to $2.16 per pound from $2.11 to $2.15 previously.
All other secondary grades were unchanged.