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Copper scrap prices steady in quiet market

Keywords: Tags  copper scrap, Comex, winter weather, discounts, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Copper scrap discounts were steady Feb. 19 as market participants said tepid trading activity and limited movement on terminal markets had quelled price volatility.

Several sources said that difficult weather conditions across much of the Midwest and Northeast had caused supply to tighten over the past week. "The market is very quiet at the moment and it would appear that scrap supply is tight," one copper scrap trader told AMM, adding that "flow into dealer yards is very light."

The trader noted that he had seen steady demand from consumers because of "lost days due to the difficult weather. ... Most are working through inventory levels."

Others speculated that copper scrap markets likely would see "limited movement" through the end of February. "Most people I talk to have said that there won’t be anything happening until March," a second trader said. "Until the weather clears up or supply improves, it seems like people are not eager to do a ton of business right now."

The March-delivery Comex copper contract, the most actively traded, settled at $3.2855 per pound Feb. 19, up nearly 1.1 percent from $3.2505 a week earlier.

Meanwhile, prices for brass scrap were unchanged Feb. 19, with market participants telling AMM that Comex copper increases were not "dramatic enough" to shift price quotes.

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