NEW YORK Copper scrap
discounts tightened further April 24 as precipitous drops on
Comex combined with uncertainty about future scrap supplies
continue to support secondary prices.
The discount for brass ingot
makers No. 1 bare bright narrowed to 3 to 5 cents per
pound below Comex compared with a 4- to 6-cent discount a week
earlier, putting prices at $3.11 to $3.13 per pound based on a
May-delivery Comex copper contract settlement price of $3.157
per pound April 24.
The discount on brass ingot
makers No. 1 copper scrap fell to 11 to 13 cents per
pound from 13 to 15 cents, putting prices at $3.03 to $3.05 per
pound; No. 2 copper scrap tightened to a 24- to 26-cent
discount, putting prices at $2.90 to $2.92 per pound; and light
copper moved down to a 34- to 36-cent discount from 36 to 40
cents previously, putting prices at $2.80 to $2.82 per
The discount for refiners
No. 2 copper scrap decreased to 25 to 27 cents per pound below
Comex from 27 to 29 cents previously, putting prices in a range
of $2.89 to $2.91 per pound.
"Its not as if business is
screaming just because spreads are tightening," one scrap
trader said. "We are certainly not inundated with calls from
people wanting to sell." He said most traders feel that sellers
are waiting for a rebound in terminal markets before parting
Sources also indicated that an
April 10 wall slide at Kennecott Utah Coppers Bingham
Canyon Mine that forced the company to declare force
majeure (amm.com, April 16) could have an effect
on scrap pricing if domestic cathode supplies diminish over the
next few months.
"The collapse will absolutely
have an effect on cathode supply. Consumers who can transition
to copper scrap, as opposed to cathode, will do so if its
feasible," a second trader said. "That type of activity could
bring spreads in even further."
Meanwhile, prices for brass
scrap fell April 24 on the back of major declines in primary
copper and primary tin.
"Sellers of brass scrap can no
longer sustain their high prices," a brass scrap trader said.
"Ingot makers are under a tremendous amount of pressure to buy
material at lower prices, especially as Comex continues to
Prices for red brass (No. 1
composition solids) fell to a range of $2.51 to $2.54 per pound
from $2.57 to $2.60 previously, while borings and turnings slid
to $2.47 to $2.50 per pound from $2.54 to $2.57.
Radiators fell to $2.10 to $2.13
per pound from $2.17 to $2.20 previously, and yellow brass
solids weakened to $2.08 to $2.10 per pound from $2.14 to
All other secondary grades were