US copper scrap market fundamentals shifting into balance

The copper scrap market in the United States is beginning to show signs of a renewed supply and demand equilibrium, propelled largely by aggressive offshore demand that has helped whittle down the supply accumulation witnessed in the fourth quarter.

“The oversupply of scrap seen since November is just beginning to come more in balance. China is buying all the [No 2 copper scrap] they can find, and are now heating up on chops. Their appetite for these items is helping draw down excess domestic inventories,” one consumer said.
Stricter non-ferrous scrap import regulations in China have drastically shifted the nation’s intake of material to cleaner copper units from lower-grade items previously.
In fact, as China’s appetite for clean material has grown, numerous market participants have seen Chinese traders return to the European market for certain copper scrap units, marking a big shift in the international landscape.

“They have been...

Published

Bradley MacAulay

March 16, 2018

01:02 GMT

Pittsburgh