Blister copper RCs for April flat; China's Q1 imports from Zambia drop 40% in value

Blister copper spot refining charges (RCs) in China were unchanged in April while the copper arbitrage window remained negative throughout the month, to discourage import interest, Fastmarkets heard on Tuesday April 30.

The cost to turn the intermediate product of 98-99% copper content into refined copper was stable at $160-170 per tonne on April 30, the same as at the end of March. Several bids were heard close to $170 per tonne but no transactions have been reported at this price. There have been requests for tonnages but buyers did not see any need to purchase. Small batches of 95-96% blister copper from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were offered to the market at $180-190 per tonne. “The copper arbitrage is not attractive at the moment,” a major copper refinery source in China said. “Also, demand for cathodes is not particularly strong, so we are well covered by blister copper contracts and don’t need to enter the spot market at all.” The copper arbitrage loss has been hovering between $49.95 and $124.69 per tonne during...

Published

Julian Luk

April 30, 2019

20:28 GMT

London