Market flags copper conc supply headwinds after Freeport inks lower annual terms with Chinese smelters

US copper miner Freeport-McMoRan and Chinese smelters including China Copper, Jiangxi Copper and Tongling Nonferrous have agreed annual copper concentrate supply contracts with terms set at their lowest levels in a decade.

Treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs), discounts on exchange prices that compensate smelters processing concentrates into commodity-grade metal, were set at $59.50 per tonne / 5.95 cents per lb, down 4% against the $62 per tonne / 6.2 cents per lb set for 2020 deals, sources with direct knowledge confirmed to Fastmarkets.
The deals are said to be with no tonnage reductions on last year's levels, and for a mix of Freeport-produced qualities.
"It's a clean settlement," a source who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the talks said.

Having reached agreements with China's three largest copper concentrate buyers, Freeport will now...


Archie Hunter

December 14, 2020

14:18 GMT