The quotations made upon the London Metal Exchange for copper are published twice daily. Under the rules of the Metal Exchange, copper of three qualities may be delivered in fulfilment of sales, as follows:copper assaying 99.80% at a premium of £1 per ton above the sale price.
Copper assaying from 99 to 99.30% at the sale price.
Copper from 96 to 99% at a discount of £1-10 from the sale price.
The prices so made are net and not subject to the discount of 2 1/2% which formerly attached to sales of G.m.b. (Good Merchantable Brand) copper, which brand is no longer recognized in the London Metal Exchange. The brand " standard " is used in place of it, and describes coppers of all the grades above defined.
The New York Metal Exchange, on which for a number of years there has been no real sales of copper, in 1909 adopted the rule that sales of contracts to deliver " standard " copper, corresponding to the grades above defined, might be made on that Exchange, the price to be in United States currency, and the discounts to correspond to those above defined as prevailing on the London Metal Exchange.
The financial columns of American newspapers often refer to the "official" price of copper, but there is really no such price for copper as a whole in the markets of America, because the N. Y. Metal Exchange prices are for " Standard Copper " only; there being no fixed relation between that and "electrolytic copper." There have been times when the market for "standard," both in London and New York, was one cent per pound below the "electrolytic" market; and also times when the two were in close approximation.
As a matter of fact, transactions on the New York Metal Exchange, and deliveries under the rule mentioned above, are uncommon; although some business was done during the latter half of 1912. So far as transactions occur, the prices quoted on that exchange are "official" for "standard copper."