FOCUS: 2019 blister copper RC annual talks stalled over divergence on fundamentals

Negotiations over the 2019 blister copper refining charge (RC) terms are still ongoing three weeks after Asia Copper Week in Shanghai, with parties holding divergent views over Zambian government directives and scrap availability underlying the supply-demand dynamics in the coming year.

In November, major blister copper suppliers and buyers, including First Quantum and Jiangxi Copper, agreed to trade part of the contractual tonnages next year at a cif China RC level of $150s per tonne, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. That compares with the 2018 level of mid $160s per tonne for that contract. The sources added that negotiations of the side terms were still ongoing between the two parties. Meanwhile, contractual talks between Jiangxi Copper and Yunnan Copper, which provide an indicative number for the annual RC, have yet to be settled without reaching an agreement on the key swinging factors. The two parties were struggling to settle at a number around low $160s per tonne, a producer source said. “An RC of $150s per tonne could barely cover Chinese smelters’ domestic primary smelting costs; some smelters may even have to suffer losses importing blister copper at this...


Julian Luk

December 10, 2018

12:50 GMT