incredible price of copper

I have a friend who is a project manager for Seattle's largest mechanical contractor, a company which does billions of dollars worth of construction
projects annually. He is intimately familiar with project costing and scheduling, since that's his job, and he told me the other day that they are starting to just use stainless pipe everywhere because now it's cheaper than copper. Seems absolutely incredible to me.
He also told me of a recent service call he flagged. A major hospital called saying that their air conditioning had stopped working. He took some guys out and they went up on the roof to look at the unit. Thieves had stolen the entire huge condenser and scrapped it out for the copper.
Wow. What the heck are things coming to?
GWE
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On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 22:22:52 -0700, Grant Erwin

Supply and demand.
Remember the Mercury Wars of the 1970s?
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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Thieves have been stealing bronze cemetery planters around here. Recycler is in big trouble for buying them.
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Grant Erwin writes:

5-year price chart:
http://www.kitcometals.com/charts/copper_historical.html
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Yep, they tangos riped out all the coper from a frozen foods company in my complex. $40k in damages for a couple hundred in scrap copper. Paint the copper?
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In the Vancouver area they are throwing ropes over rural power lines and pulling them down from the poles. The need for drugs is strong. Local authorities are cracking down on scrap dealers who accept anything from anyone. They are revoking their business licences. Last time I remember this copper price madness was during the Vietnam era. The economy was juiced up and people were dying. Deja Vu. Randy
I have a friend who is a project manager for Seattle's largest mechanical contractor, a company which does billions of dollars worth of construction projects annually. He is intimately familiar with project costing and scheduling, since that's his job, and he told me the other day that they are starting to just use stainless pipe everywhere because now it's cheaper than copper. Seems absolutely incredible to me.
He also told me of a recent service call he flagged. A major hospital called saying that their air conditioning had stopped working. He took some guys out and they went up on the roof to look at the unit. Thieves had stolen the entire huge condenser and scrapped it out for the copper.
Wow. What the heck are things coming to?
GWE
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R. Zimmerman wrote:

Last week here in Greenville, SC, a power company worker found a guy lying dead under the (hot) wires, next to a sawed-down power pole. Next to the body was a bow saw, and some wire strippers. And they say Darwin was wrong!
Joe
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Anything known about the dead guy? Was he a known drug addict or what? Agreed on the reference to Darwin.
i
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Ignoramus22887 wrote:

The victim was a 36 y.o. from the town of Liberty, not a known hotbed of drug activity, but meth has become a major issue here, so who knows? OTOH, this is the rural South, where a person's last words usually are "Hey, watch this!" (I know, 'cause I lived next door to a whole family of them - less and less with passing time - for 23 years.)
Joe
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Doesn't the entire statement go, "Here....hold my beer and watch this."?
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This happened a few months ago in Dayton, Ohio too. The guy went into the hospital with severe burns. He did not live very long. There was concern he was going to sue the power company and the building owner for getting electrocuted.
Where I work, theives stole 40,000 worth of aluminum. Provblem is, they stole several pieces of pattern / corebox tooling made of aluminum. Replacement costs for these patterns will be $9K to $10K. The sad part is, the aluminum will only net perhaps $50 at the junkyard, maybe less. The scrap dealers do not care, they are worse than pawn shops.
Mark
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I just hope they don't start wiring homes again with aluminum.
Grant Erwin wrote:

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No, aluminum is about as popular with thieves as copper is. I am preparing several boxes of scrap brass and copper to take to the recycler.
My brother is building a new house an the plumber used plastic tubing and compression fittings instead of copper or iron pipe. Goes in fast and any leaks are easy to repair!
Paul
snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@coinet.com wrote:

No, they are going to wire with PVC instead :)
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>http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml ;jsessionid=MISJD1DSRAY1EQSNDLSCKHA?articleID2202926<
Copper prices soar amid labor dispute
Mark LaPedus      EE Times (08/22/2006 11:35 AM EDT)
SAN JOSE, Calif. Supply and prices for copper continue to be a major concern for the electronics industry amid an ongoing labor strike at the world's largest copper mine.
Union workers at BHP Billiton Ltd.'s copper mine in Chile extended a strike for the 16th consecutive day on Tuesday (August 22) after rejecting the company's latest offer to settle the dispute, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Copper prices have soared since BHP (Melbourne, Australia) shuttered the world's biggest copper mine over two weeks ago. The world's biggest mining concern also ended negotiations with union workers, who have been blocking roads to the Escondida site, according to the report. The mine in Chile supplies 8.5 percent of the world's copper.
For some time, there has been a major concern for the soaring prices of copper, which is used for chip interconnects, lead frames and a multitude of other applications in the electronics industry.
The soaring price of copper and other raw materials over the last few months has forced network communications and coax cable maker Andrew Corp. to recently add a steep surcharge across many of its products.
Prices for copper have doubled in the past year, due in part to huge demand in China. Copper is also used for wire and pipes.
And prices are increasing again after spiking in May. By May 10, copper prices on the London Metal Exchange, a major metal market, hit a whopping $8,148 per metric ton for spot-market cash buys, up 79.5 percent from $4,537 per metric ton at the beginning of January. Prices for three-month contracts, with copper delivery slated for July, climbed to $8,005 per metric ton, up 82 percent from $4,397 per metric ton on Jan. 3.
This week, copper prices are all over the map. On Monday (August 21), copper jumped 2.8 per cent to $7,695 a ton in London, according to the report.
Copper for October delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange jumped 2.3 percent to $8,565 a metric ton in China, according to the report.
Soaring copper prices could hurt potential strategies at various companies. For example, Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. (Fort Washington, Pa.), a maker of wirebonding equipment, is working with customers to evaluate copper wire bonding and to compare the results to wire bonding with gold, the traditional material, the company revealed in its third fiscal quarter financial results.
With gold costing more than $600 per ounce, and having followed an exponential curve to double in price in the last four years, it is no surprise that packaging companies are considering lower cost alternatives. Now, it's unclear if K&S will move forward with copper.
--Jennifer Baljko contributed to this article
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snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com wrote:

Just so you know, there was/is NOTHING wrong with aluminium wiring. The problem had to do with using cheap substandard connectors NOT the aluminium wire, AND it was the very powerful copper lobby that saw the opportunity and legislated more affordable and BETTER aluminium out of the market place. I would point out that ALL those big transmission lines bringing power to your shop are aluminium, and I'm not aware of any problems with them "failing". I think you will also find that Canada....and the rest of the world does use aluminium wiring WITH proper connectors and there is NO problem. It's about power and politics NOT product.
Kirk
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1968fj40 wrote:

For reference those power lines are ACSR, aluminum clad, steel reinforced. They also use connectors that are a lot more specialized than residential ones.
While politics are part of it, it's not like the AL companies are tiny and powerless either. The ultimate issue is the fact that while both AL and copper can be perfectly safe and useable, it is easier and less demanding to get safe connections with copper than with aluminum.
With copper you just wrap the wire around the terminal and tighten it down, with AL you have to be sure to have a CO/ALr rated device, clean the wire, apply anti-ox compound, tighten the connection and then retighten the connection a month or so later.
Pete C.
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wrote:

Then you get the wiring devices I ran into in BiL's mobile in Florida - push the insulated wire into the slot like the phone tech. does. Brought a couple home for the local inspector to add to his box of horrors. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com wrote:

Wiring with aluminum wasn't/isn't a problem. It *BECOMES* a problem when you start mixing copper and aluminum without doing it properly.
A house wired with straight aluminum is absolutely no different than a house wired with copper, in terms of either function or safety, so long as the *ENTIRE* house is wired with aluminum, and/or any copper<-->aluminum joints are done correctly. (Meaning use of proper connectors between them, and/or use of readily available, cheap, and quite effective anti-corrosion compounds during assembly)
--
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or the subject of the message doesn't contain the exact text "PopperAndShadow"
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Don Bruder wrote:

Entirely incorrect. The issues with AL wire are not related to copper-AL connections, they are issues inherent to the AL itself.
Pete C.
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