Copper concs TC/RCs drop amid supply tightness

The tightness in copper concentrates supply and suspensions at major mines resulting from strikes and accidents have pushed treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) for copper concentrates lower over the past two weeks.

Fastmarkets’ Asia-Pacific TC/RC index dropped to $54.10 per tonne/5.41 cents per lb on Friday June 14, its lowest since the index launched in June 2013. It was $56.10 per tonne/5.61 cents per lb a week ago. The index has fallen by 8.1% since May 31, its fastest slump in seven-and-a-half months since copper concentrates TCs swung to a downturn trend at the end of November last year. Over 50% of workers at Codelco’s second-largest copper mine, Chuquicamata, went on strike last Friday following the partial halt earlier this month at the company’s largest copper mine, El Teniente, after a fatal accident. Material from Chuquicamata contains arsenic levels above China’s China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) limits for importing, and as such is bought at a discount to the main market and blended with clean concentrates to level out these impurities. As several clean parcels are needed to blend out one parcel of complex concentrates,...

Published

Anna Xu

Archie Hunter

Julian Luk

June 17, 2019

16:48 GMT

Shanghai, London