SHANGHAI, Apr.6 (CBI China) -- Copper smelters could be forced to cut production in the second half of this year as mine operators continue to drive down concentrate treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs).
Traders say mines are trying to hammer down midyear settlements, which cover purchases of concentrates between July 2006 and June 2007. There are rumors in the market that some mine operators are pushing for prices less than $50 per tonne/5 cents a pound with no price participation.
This price is comparable to the 2007 benchmark TC/RCs at around $60 per tonne/6 cents a pound with no price participation. These charges are paid by mines to smelters to turn concentrate into refined copper.