Aggressive tender numbers push copper TCs under 2013 low; smelter-trader purchase gap widest in 1yr

Copper concentrates treatment charges (TCs) declined in early May after traders accepted recent tender tonnages at surprisingly low levels, which stretched the gap between acceptable purchase levels for traders and smelters to its widest in the past year.

As of May 3, Fastmarkets’ Asia-Pacific TC/RC index dropped to $60.8 per tonne/6.08 cents per lb, compared to $62.50 per tonne/6.25 cents per lb a week ago. The current TC level is the lowest since the index launched in 2013, given the fact that the index has already been artificially adjusted upward after the change in copper content base specification to 26% from 28% in late April.  A 10,000-tonne tender for copper concentrates from the Escondida mine in Chile - operated by BHP - for summer delivery was awarded in the high $40s, while some nearby tonnages for copper from the Carmen mine in the Philippines – owned by Atlas - went to traders at similar levels, sources said. Some trader purchases had...

Published

Julian Luk

May 03, 2019

17:25 GMT

London