But expectations of a continued downtrend in TC/RCs in 2020 and a subdued copper price could slow Chinese smelters' expansion plans, according to conference delegates.
Fastmarkets' weekly copper concentrate TC/RC index cif Asia Pacific stood at $50.10 per tonne/ 5.01 cents per lb on Friday September 6, down 38% from $88.80 per tonne/ 8.88 cents per lb on November 30.
On August 30, Fastmarkets’ copper concentrate TC/RC index cif Asia Pacific region hit record low of $49.20 per tonne/4.92 cents per Ib.
Analysts predict production cuts in 2020
Although TC/RCs are hovering around the lowest level in Fastmarkets’ benchmark index six-year history, He Xiaohui, senior copper expert at Chinese information provider Antaike, said current levels are “far from production cutting” levels especially for large-scale smelters, adding that TC/RCs have fallen to $20 per tonne/ 2.0 cents per lb before.
Meanwhile, another analyst said output curtailments could come next year.
“No production cuts...