HONG KONG, May 20 (Reuters) - Large copper smelters in China settled second-half treatment and refining charges with global miner BHP Billiton at almost double the levels seen in 2010, in a move that is likely to boost spot concentrate rates and metal output in China.
The rise in second-half TC/RC is likely to drive up charges for spot copper concentrate to China, a trader at an international trading firm said.
"I am surprised the Chinese got the big win in the TC/RC. That tells us that the market is no longer short of copper concentrates," the trader said.
"International trading firms may start offering higher TC/RCs for spot concentrate to China."
Spot TC/RCs to China traded below $10 and 1 cent a year ago due to supply tightness in the global market. The charges rose gradually to about $90 before the Japan quake and are offered at $120-$130 and 12-13 cents currently.
But large Chinese smelters in China had not been buying much spot copper concentrate from the international market in recent weeks due to smelters' high inventories and expectations for spot TC/RCs to rise to around $150 and 15 cents, the first smelter source said.
Chinese smelters were also worried that power shortages would hurt their production, the source said.
TC/RCs are paid by concentrate sellers to smelters. They typically rise when supply of concentrates increase or demand falls.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Copper smelting rates in China
This is interesting from Reuters Here are two extracts: