U.S. Government Shutdown, Copper Demand Concerns

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Concern for copper demand is increasing. “Copper fell for the third time in four sessions after talks between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders failed to break a budget logjam that spurred a U.S. government shutdown in its third day,” reports Bloomberg.

The metal “is going to sit in a tight trading range until the political standoff in Washington gets taken care of one way or another,” Mark Lewon, president of Salt Lake City-based Utah Metal Works Inc., said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “The potential remains for copper to drop if the uncertainty does not get lifted.”

On Wednesday, October 2, the day’s biggest mover was the price of US copper producer grade 110, which saw a 1.3 percent decline. After falling 1.3 percent, prices settled, driving an accelerated drop-off since Thursday, September 26. Today marks the fifth day in a row of declining prices for the price of US copper producer grade 122. The price of US copper producer grade 102 continues its trend downwards. Finishing the day, it dropped 1.2 percent. The Japanese copper cash price gained 0.7 percent to finish.

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Chinese copper prices closed flat for the day. Chinese copper bar saw little change in its price yesterday. The Chinese copper cash price held steady. The price of Chinese copper wire was essentially unchanged. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap held steady.

Following two days of rising prices, the primary copper cash price dropped 1.0 percent on the LME to $7,219 per metric ton. After improving for two days, the copper 3-month price declined 0.8 percent on the LME to $7,235 per metric ton.