Copper ore refining charges are likely to rise sharply in 2015 following initial contract settlements reported in China, the CEO of Europe’s largest copper refiner Aurubis said on Friday.
US miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has agreed to pay Chinese smelters term treatment and refining charges of $107 per ton and 10.7 cents per lb. for copper concentrate shipments in 2015, up from $92 per ton and 9.2 cents per lb. for term shipments in 2014, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
“I think the settlements in the new year will be around this overall level,” Aurubis CEO Bernd Drouven told Reuters.
Copper TC/RCs are paid by miners to smelters to refine concentrate into metal and are a key part of the global copper industry’s earnings.
Drouven stressed it was not known what the concentrate volumes and quality may be involved in the reported China deals.
On Thursday, December 11, the day’s biggest mover was the cash price of primary copper, which saw a 1.2% increase on the LME to $6,476 per metric ton. This increase comes after the price fell for the two previous days. Following a 1.1% rise on Thursday, the 3-month price of copper closed on the LME at $6,422 per metric ton.
The price of US copper producer grade 122 weakened by 0.8%, settling at $3.62 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 declined 0.8% to $3.62 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 saw a 0.8% decline to $3.81 per pound. The Japanese copper cash price fell 0.2% to JPY 808,000 ($6,865) per metric ton.
Chinese copper closed mixed yesterday. Following a couple days of improvement, the price of Chinese copper bar weakened by 0.3%. Prices closed at CNY 47,750 ($7,731) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese copper declined 0.3% to CNY 47,950 ($7,763) per metric ton. The price of Chinese copper wire showed little movement on Thursday at CNY 46,940 ($7,600) per metric ton. At CNY 40,700 ($6,589) per metric ton, the price of Chinese bright copper scrap was essentially unchanged.