Copper conc TC/RCs trade sideways, market eyes China-US tariffs

Copper concentrates TC/RCs were largely unchanged in early August, with threats of Chinese tariffs on US imports the focus of the market.

The Metal Bulletin TC/RC index firmed by $0.50 per tonne/0.05 cents per lb to $83.50/8.35 cents, with little trade reported.
A scramble to swap and divert cargoes was set off on Friday August 3, when the Chinese Ministry of Finance said it would impose a 25% import tax on US-origin copper concentrates and also tax 5,206 other products, if the US went through with proposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods.
The US accounts for around 6.4% of the world’s mined copper production according to the US Geological Survey, but just 2.5% of China’s imports.
The threat came amid rising trade tensions between the two countries and although no implementation date is set, many smelters in China are not willing to take the risk on scheduled US-origin concentrate imports.

Smelters there are asking sellers either to cancel...

Published

Archie Hunter

Julian Luk

August 16, 2018

16:55 GMT

London