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Copper premiums dip in quiet market

Keywords: Tags  copper prices, copper premiums, deficit, Wayne Stubbs, Saranya Kapur

NEW YORK — Summer sluggishness and a decline in spot market demand for copper pushed copper premiums down to 6 to 6.5 cents per pound from 7 to 7.5 cents previously, according to market sources surveyed by AMM.

The copper market has been slack because copper consumers are undertaking maintenance work and market participants are taking vacations, traders and consumers said.

However, a decline in ore grades at Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco), which resulted in the cancellation of shipments to China, could push copper to a deficit in the near future, analysts have said (, July 16).

"It’s slow this time of year and business has been light," one trader told AMM. "However, a copper deficit is possible in the future with where the stocks are at right now."

"There’s plenty of metal that’s off warrant, and it looks like the Chinese are back in the market," another trader said. "I wouldn’t be surprised if there were to be a deficit in the future."

U.S. copper imports, which arrive mainly through Port Panama City in Florida, have been trending lower. Copper imports are expected to drop to between 265,000 and 275,000 tons in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 from 335,000 tons in fiscal 2013, according to the port’s executive director, Wayne Stubbs.

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