ACW 2019 - INTERVIEW: Chinese copper smelter shutdowns amid high costs, competitor expansions are natural transition – KGHM exec

Reduced production, prolong care and maintenance periods or even shutdowns at some less efficient and smaller copper smelters in China would come as no surprise next year due to the higher costs of concentrates and competition from capacity expansions from bigger smelters, vice president of international assets at Polish copper producer KGHM Polska Miedz SA said.

“This is [a] natural transition of the industry,” Pawel Gruza told Fastmarkets in an interview on the sidelines of Asia Copper Week on Thursday November 21.
Copper concentrate treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) prices are fees paid to smelters by miners to process the raw materials into copper cathode. Low TCs mean higher costs of copper concentrates.
Fastmarkets’ benchmark copper concentrate TC/RCs index, cif Asia Pacific plummeted by 41.6% to a record low of $49.20 per tonne / 4.92 cents per Ib on August 30 from $84.30 per tonne/8.43 cents per Ib on December 31, 2018, due to a surge in spot demand following China’s smelting capacity expansions that began in 2018.

After recovering slightly to $56.70 per tonne / 5.67 cents per lb on October 11, the index has retreated again to $52.20 / 5.22 cents a month later on November...

Published

Anna Xu

December 02, 2019

02:30 GMT

Shanghai