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Non-ferrous metals - UK market overview - 29 June 2012

With copper, lead, zinc and aluminium all hitting fresh lows on the London Metal Exchange (LME), it came as no surprise that the current market conditions were described as “poor”.

£50 - scrap copper price fall across most grades

The impact of these falls on most of the non-ferrous scrap prices was sharp. Merchants reported that it was increasingly difficult to make decent sales and traders were encouraged to take a bigger margin, in case it fell further.

As MRW went to press, scrap copper prices were off this week by £50 a tonne across most grades. Aluminium scrap also posted similar falls of £25-£50 a tonne, although merchants suspected that prices may fall further because the LME price has already hit a two-year low. Lead scrap fell a further £25 per tonne, while the 99% tin price was down £610 to £10,440 per tonne. 

Nickel’s fortunes did not fare much better, with pure nickel and cupronickel grades posting the strongest falls. Pure nickel was down an average £200 to £7,000 per tonne, with 70/30 and 90/10 topping out at £3,460 and £3,280 per tonne, respectively.

Any gains among precious metals last week were reversed this week as market confidence waned. A fall of 0.95p per gramme brought platinum down to near-January levels of £329.54 per gramme. Fine gold lost 0.71p per gramme, down to £32.46 per gramme, and palladium also fell close to last December’s ranges, down to £12.41p per gramme.

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