The speed of the coronavirus spread in the US - which has restricted public gatherings and movement across the country - has taken industry participants by surprise, upending regular operations that until last week had been reflecting healthy prices.
Many copper scrap consumers are not buying this week but instead are just quoting, according to market participants.
“Everyone is all hands on deck fighting for survival of our businesses at this time,” a scrap trader told Fastmarkets. “Virtually no trading is happening.”
Even consumers who were actively buying metal expressed doubts about how long they would be able to operate before facilities are forced to close due to virus-related health concerns.
“We are still buying and still melting, but won't be able to...