GLOBAL COPPER WRAP: US at 6-mth high on freight tightness, EQ cathodes washout in China

China’s copper premiums remained on a downtrend in the week to Tuesday May 4 but premiums for copper cathodes remained strong elsewhere. Market attention was on the London Metal Exchange copper price, which was near an all-time-high.

  • US premiums at 6-month high
  • EQ premiums slide in China after switch to scrap
  • Italy rates rise.

US copper premium stalls; demand robust
The US Midwest copper market was steady in the week to Tuesday May 4 on subdued spot market activity.
Fastmarkets assessed the copper grade 1 cathode premium, ddp Midwest US, at 7.75-8.25 cents per lb on Tuesday, unchanged from the week before but still at the highest level since late October last year.
“We’re looking at basically the same kinds of premiums. I thought we might get a breakout in May, but it hasn’t happened yet,” one trader said.
The ready availability of scrap was holding the premium steady despite escalating freight rates, according to a second trader. “Inland freight’s up, ocean freight’s up, but scrap is keeping the market in balance,” he said.

Consumers were particularly keen to buy recycled...

Published

Thorsten Schier

Archie Hunter

Julian Luk

Ana de Liz

May 05, 2021

13:20 GMT

London, New York