Indonesia May Loosen Copper Concentrate Export Rules if Smelters Aren’t Ready

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Indonesia could push back a ban on exports of copper and other mineral concentrates due to come into effect in January 2017 if miners have not built new domestic smelters in time, a mining ministry official said on Wednesday.

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Early last year Southeast Asia’s largest economy put in place export restrictions aimed at forcing mining firms to develop smelting and processing facilities so that Indonesia could refine all of its own raw ores and concentrates.

“If it’s not built by 2017 this could have consequences for the regulations,” Coal and Minerals Director General Sukhyar told reporters after meeting with copper miners including US companies Freeport-McMoRan and Newmont Mining Corp. to discuss compliance with the smelting rules.

On Tuesday, February 17, Chinese copper wire jumped up 0.4%, landing at CNY 41,880 ($6,700) per metric ton and making it the day’s biggest increase. At CNY 42,800 ($6,847), the price of Chinese copper bar finished the market day up 0.2% per metric ton. After a 0.2% increase, the Chinese copper cash price finished the day at CNY 43,000 ($6,879) per metric ton. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap saw little movement at CNY 33,400 ($5,343) per metric ton.

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The Japanese copper cash price weakened by 0.4%, settling at JPY 709,000 ($5,983) per metric ton. The price of US copper producer grade 122 held steady yesterday, remaining around $3.33 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 102 remained essentially flat at $3.52 per pound. The price of US copper producer grade 110 showed little movement yesterday, hovering around $3.33 per pound.

On the LME, the cash price of primary copper fell 0.3% to $5,711 per metric ton. The copper 3-month price saw a 0.2% decline on the LME to $5,703 per metric ton.

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