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[TowerTalk] copper prices.. Re: Radial wire and antenna spacing

Subject: [TowerTalk] copper prices.. Re: Radial wire and antenna spacing
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 17:37:55 -0800
List-post: <>
At 04:39 PM 1/30/2006, Tyler Stewart wrote:
>I don't think I'd use galvanized steel fence wire unless you want to replace
>it after a few years.  Aluminum fence wire might work well.  Otherwise check
>with a scrap metal dealer for odd lots of copper wire.
>Ty K3MM

Just so you know the current going price.. scrap wire, 50% insulation, 
seems to be around $0.40/lb to $0.50/lb.  Chopped copper is $1200/metric 
ton (That's about $0.55/lb).  Those are BULK prices (as in a carload 
lot).  October 2005 carload price for #2 copper scrap is $1/lb retail for 
dealers in Chicago.

New price for copper is about $2.20/lb.
For reference, 1000 ft of AWG 14 is about 12.5 lbs, awg 12 is about 20 lbs.

If you go to SouthWire's website ( you can get 
the pricing for various kinds of wire.. bare AWG12 is about $70/1000 ft (as 
of 1 Dec 2005), or roughly twice the wholesale bulk copper copper cost 
($44/1000 ft).  Copper building wire (distributor net price, Feb 1 2006) 
for AWG12, THHN, is $110/kft.

And in the "more than you really want to know" category: Copper prices are 
expected to fall later this year, if you want to hold off a bit.

"But the seasonal pattern in copper prices normally reflects the U.S. 
construction season, said Meger.
"The seasonal tendency for copper is significantly different than the 
seasonal tendency for precious metals," he said.
Copper prices typically ease in late summer through autumn and rally into 
late April. The 2003-04 period illustrates this pattern. This year, a 
copper rally erupted in September and continues to strengthen.
Several factors explain the rally, Meger said. Copper production capacity 
did not keep up with demand, especially in Asia, in 2005. And rumors that 
China might not be able to fulfill contracts it sold to deliver copper 
fueled speculation that it may have to bid prices higher to meet its 
obligations, a so-called short squeeze.
Another factor is speculative buying by commodity funds, which often push 
prices to extremes.
"We suspect there is a strong element of window dressing," said metals 
analysts at ABN Amro in a report. "We have a fiduciary responsibility to 
warn that copper is living a lie. We expect a sharp reduction in the copper 
price during 2006."
"If you want to call it window dressing, we refer to it as the fund taking 
market above or below fundamentals on a technical basis," Meger said. A 
correction in early 2006 might not be too severe, he added.
Noting Tuesday's strong report on housing starts, he said, "We will shortly 
be going into another housing season."


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