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China spot TC/RCs fall to USD 73 to 83 per tonne with pick-up in copper concentrate trade

Metal News - Published on Wed, 14 Feb 2018

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Platts reported that spot treatment and refining charges for imported copper concentrate for Chinese smelters were at USD 73 to USD 83 per tonne, and 7.3-8.3 cents/lb last week, down from USD 74 to USD 86 per tonne and 7.4-8.6 cents/lb in the preceding week, as trading picked up.

Jiangxi Copper Corp in its weekly report said that spot fees were lower last week and trading was expected to peak next month as March is usually when smelters make imported concentrate deals for the second quarter of the year.

Beijing-based brokerage Galaxy Futures in its weekly copper report said that TC/RCs averaged USD 78 per tonne last week, down from USD 80 per tonne in the preceding week.

Chinese smelters were active in spot concentrate trading before the Lunar New Year with those not part of the China Smelters Purchase Team emerging as the key buyers, it added.

Non-CSPT smelters relied more on spot concentrates supply, it pointed out, adding that due to the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays, concentrates traders had less supply and so were cutting spot TC/RCs.

TC/RCs, the fees paid to smelters by mines, are a key source of revenue for smelters.

Chinese industry sources close to the domestic copper smelting sector said medium and small smelters were plagued with shortage of funds and their weaker bargaining power meant they had to import at lower spot fees, while the CSPT smelters have enough concentrates till the end of Q1. CSPT was set up in November 2003 to jointly negotiate TC/RCs with international copper miners.

Data from state-owned metals consultancy Beijing Antaike showed that China’s mined copper demand in 2018 is forecast at 6.15 million tonne, up 6% from 2017.

The agency said that the country’s imports of mined copper (25% metal contained in ore and concentrates) are forecast to rise to 4.8 million tonne in 2018, up 6.7% from last year, while domestic mined output is seen at 1.72 million tonne this year, up 4.2% from 2017.

Antaike data showed that China is forecast to have a mined copper surplus of 370,000 tonne in 2018, compared with a surplus of 350,000 mt last year.

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Posted By : Amom Remju on Wed, 14 Feb 2018
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