HAMBURG, Oct 22 (Reuters) - European copper product demand has stabilised and is likely to hold steady in coming months, Aurubis, Europe's biggest copper smelter, said on Monday.
"The downward trend in European demand for rod and continuous cast products stopped in the summer," Aurubis said in a market report. "Stable demand is expected in Europe for the coming year."
The construction industry, the electronics sector and renewable energy devlopment could provide special demand momentum, it said.
Aurubis had said in September that European copper product customers were increasingly making product orders for short-term delivery because of the uncertain European economic outlook.
Copper scrap availability on the European market remains at a high level, supported by the recent high copper prices, Aurubis said. Trading companies exhibit a good willingness to sell scrap copper, it said.
Copper staged a 12 percent price rally in the first half of September on the back of monetary easing measures announced by central banks but has fallen back to early September levels on fears of a global economic slowdown.
The spot market for copper treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) is firm and spot deals between smelters and mines are being made at around $70 a tonne and 7 cents a pound, it said.
This was the same as in September but up from $63.5/6.35 cents earlier in the summer.
TC/RCs are paid by miners to smelters to refine concentrate (ore) into metal and are a key part of the global copper industry's income.
"An additional increase can be expected since the output from new (mining) projects will reach the market in 2013," it said. "This is the decisive argument for higher TC/RCs in the upcoming annual negotiations between smelters and mines."
When copper concentrate output rises, mines and traders have to pay more to gain smelter capacity.