FOCUS: Timing is everything for copper TC/RCs as crunch point nears

The coming week will be a crunch point for copper TC/RCs, with terms set to turn on whether mine disruptions continue or solutions are found.

Since BHP Billiton announced force majeure on contracted copper concentrate supplies from its Escondida mine in Chile, the world’s biggest copper mine, there has been a wave of knock-on effects on the concentrate market. The prospect of restricted supplies of concentrate has been compounded by the continuing issues at Freeport-McMoRan’s’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia, which suspended production on Friday February 10 because its concentrate barns had been filled, and it is not able to ship out material due to the country’s prevailing export ban; it declared force majeure on nearby delivery contracts this Thursday and Friday, Metal Bulletin revealed on Friday February 17. Nevertheless, smelters in Asia have varying stockpiles of copper concentrates and are reluctant to accept lower TC/RCs while uncertainty over supply persists. “If the strike lasts one week, most smelters will still hold a bit of material; if the disruption lasts longer, then it could be a real...


Kiki Kang

February 17, 2017

18:52 GMT