Detroit Plans to Pay Off its Debt by Selling its Own Scrap Copper

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Detroit is turning to a new source to make money post-bankruptcy: Its own copper.

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The Detroit Free-Press reported the city is privatizing and decommissioning its electricity delivery services, and over the next 6 years expects to make at least $25 million from the sale of copper in underground and overhead electricity lines, a top financial consultant to the city testified this morning in Detroit’s bankruptcy proceedings.

The sale of copper would represent a turnabout for Detroit, for years plagued by scrappers who steal copper from public lighting and electricity lines. The city estimated it was losing as much as $1 million a year because of illegal copper scrapping.

The cash price of Japanese copper saw the biggest increase at 1.6%, finishing at JPY 749,000 ($6,880) per metric ton for Thursday, October 23. The price of US copper producer grade 110 fell 0.3% to $3.73 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 122 weakened by 0.3%, settling at $3.73 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 declined 0.3% to $3.92 per pound.

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Chinese copper prices were flat for the day. Chinese copper bar saw little change in its price yesterday at CNY 48,840 ($7,952) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese copper held steady around CNY 49,040 ($7,985) per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper wire saw little movement at CNY 50,395 ($8,205) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 44,300 ($7,213) per metric ton.

At $6,730, the cash price of primary copper finished the market day on the LME up 1.1% per metric ton. Also on the LME, the copper 3-month price rose 1.0% to $6,690 per metric ton.

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