While many industries ease their way into the Christmas break, a series of thefts means that non-ferrous dealers will be frantically moving copper before the shutdown.
Prices for the metal have shown constant rises in the past five months, with dry bright wire trading at £2,060/tonne and all types edging towards the £2,000/tonne mark.
Yards in Sheffield and the midlands have been particularly badly hit, with several cases and one yard reporting losses of over £4,000.
With iron and steel prices and trading conditions fairly lulled at present, traders are compensating by dealing more in copper. But the risks associated with leaving the metal in the yard for the week-long shutdown has further increased activity.