SHANGHAI, Nov 16 (SMM) – Falling prices of copper scrap encouraged stockpiling across domestic producers of copper rods, with scrap as feedstock, in the first half of October. This buoyed operation rates across those plants by 11.17 percentage points from September, to 61.54% in October.
SMM expects the rate to dip 4.09 percentage points month on month and stand at 57.44% in November. Part of the downstream demand moved to copper rods made of refined materials, from scrap-made copper rods, as the price spread between the two raw materials narrowed this month. Prices of refined copper came off from highs and narrowed the price gap.
Unstable supplies of copper scrap and pressure from the environmental probes suspended some scrap-using copper rod producers this month. This will also lower the overall operating rates for November, SMM expects.