Copper Costs and Availability Concerns Show Value of Partnerships in Wire Market

United Copper Industries, Denton, Texas, has seen the premiums they pay to get copper cathode out of bonded warehouses and shipped to their plants more than double over the past few months, and, says President and CEO Andy Blanchard, there’s no sign the situation will change soon.

The cash price of copper has been hovering in the range of $3.20 to $3.30 per pound, well down from where it started the year and far from its 2011 highs of over $4.50, but the final cost of getting copper for making wire and other electrical products has been rising due to a doubling in the premium fees charged by commodity trading companies that warehouse the metal. Even for those willing to pay, getting the copper is by no means certain.

Fluctuations in the spot price of the

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