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Copper cathode delivered premiums steady

NEW YORK — Copper cathode delivered premiums held steady as business remains sluggish despite higher demand, according to traders.

AMM’s delivered premiums for copper cathode remain at 6 to 8 cents per pound, down from 7 to 9 cents per pound a month ago.

"There’s no real change or business," one trader told AMM. "It’s kind of dead. Some years we don’t get like this, but this year it’s 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.

"It’s mostly because of the freight costs of copper," a second trader said. "It’s cheaper to go into China than it is to go into the U.S."

High demand in China, the wall slide at Kennecott Utah Copper’s 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 Exchange’s 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 they’re going to thinner wire, which uses less copper," a fourth trader said. "It’s probably very good for the wire users."


Latest Pricing Trends Year Over Year

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After witnessing the pace of steel plant idlings and worker layoffs during the first half of the year, what is your view of the second half of 2015? (choose one)

No matter what else happens, layoffs and shutdowns, etc., have nearly or essentially stopped for the year.
The environment will change little and the pace of layoffs will continue at a similar rate as the first half of 2015.
The environment will change little yet the pace of layoffs will begin to slow slightly to moderately.
The environment will change little yet the pace of layoffs could exceed the rate seen thus far.
The environment will improve slightly to moderately yet hiring and plant restarts will not resume this year.
The environment will improve slightly to moderately, with hiring and plant restarts commencing.
The environment will improve dramatically yet hiring and plant restarts will still be negligible in comparison.
The environment will improve dramatically yet hiring and plant restarts will only be slight to moderate.
The environment will improve dramatically, with hiring and plant restarts occurring nearly in tandem.


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