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Published on 4/27/2007

AWC eUpdate Newsletter April 2007

Copper Indices: Camden-Omega Copper vs. Comex Copper

Copper Prices

What chemical element has the symbol Cu and the atomic number 29? The answer - Copper.

A favorite of the wire and cable industry, copper possesses excellent electrical conductivity and finds widespread use as an electrical conductor in everyday wire and cable products. Copper has even become the world's third most widely used metal. Due to a number of influencing factors, including demand, the price of copper has risen dramatically over the past few years.

Concerns with copper are not isolated within the U.S., but rather have developed into an international concern across a number of markets. Because the price of copper directly affects the price of electrical wire and cable, those involved in the wire and cable industry, both suppliers and customers, are affected by any fluctuation in copper prices.

In order to closely follow changes, the wire and cable industry looks to outside sources for accurate pricing information. Over the years, the two primary indexes used in determining the cost of copper within the wire and cable industry have been the COMEX Copper Index and Omega-Camden Copper Index. Although the two slightly differ from each other, both indexes continually remain reliable resources in their own right.

You may have read about COMEX copper prices in national publications such as the New York Times or American Metal Market. Lines similar to "Copper prices rise on the COMEX Division of the Mercantile Exchange," are not all too uncommon. The COMEX (Commodities Exchange) draws public attention as a division of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), which is worldwide physical commodity futures exchange. In the COMEX Division, metals like gold, silver and high-grade copper futures are traded.

COMEX manages the trading of copper as a commodity with commercial value by means of a daily settlement price. The prices are recorded on the COMEX Copper Index, which keeps track of all settlement prices. Copper futures on the COMEX Division are used by copper market participants for investment purposes. The future prices listed on the index reflect where copper prices appear to be heading based on the present opinion of the marketplace. The opinions and the direction of the prices on the index can change abruptly.

Like the COMEX Copper Index, the Omega-Camden Copper Index plays a role in determining the cost of copper in the wire and cable industry. The Omega-Camden copper base, which was formerly known as the Camden copper base, is a point of reference for wire and cable prices. The Omega-Camden Index records and measures whether copper prices are increasing or decreasing. The Omega-Camden copper index is supplied by International Wire (IMG), whose products include a broad range of copper wire.

Unlike the daily changes of the COMEX Copper Index, the Omega-Camden Index is only updated twice a month. Another difference is prices on the Omega-Copper copper index take into consideration the cost of transportation. The Omega-Camden base may be 15 to 20 cents per pound higher than COMEX prices as a result of the added cost. COMEX's copper price reflects only the price for copper as produced at the mine. The price does not include any additional production costs.

With the current volatility of copper prices, the COMEX and Omega-Camden Copper Indexes have become valuable tools in the wire and cable industry. COMEX is helpful because it is updated on a daily basis and predicts future prices. The Omega-Camden Index is useful because it considers added costs.

To view history of Omega-Camden pricing visit our Camden Copper Chart.

For more information on COMEX visit www.nymex.com.

- Click here to see the history of Camden Copper
- Click here to see the most up-to-date
Comex Copper Prices



Price Increase Alert

Price Increase Alert

Due to the rise of copper prices, several manufacturers have announced price increases for the months of April and May.

General Cable/Carol Electronics: April 21, 2007. The increase will be an average of 4-6%.
Amphenol RF: May 7, 2007.
Belden: May 7, 2007. The increase will be on their coax and New Gen Multi-Conductor Products.

Most manufacturers are adjusting their pricing in accordance with the increase in copper prices. Allied Wire is committed to working with you through this situation.



Play Allied Wire & Cable Trivia

Allied Wire Quiz Logo

It's time to play "Allied Wire & Cable Trivia." The first 5 people to correctly match these five members of Allied's staff with their favorite musical group will receive an Allied Prize Pack overflowing with goodies.

Answers should be emailed to trivia@awcwire.com or faxed to 484-928-6700. Please include your full name, company name, and shipping address along with your answers. Good luck!





  1. Larry Feldman, Warehouse
  2. Mark Berry, Sales
  3. Phyllis Rose, Receptionist
  4. Rick Gaines, Warehouse Mgr
  5. Pat Wilson, Sales
A: Queen

Pink Floyd
B: Pink Floyd

C: Aerosmith

D: The Temptations


Look for the answers in next month's newsletter!

Click here for the answers from March's Trivia Question