SHANGHAI, Feb. 4 (SMM) – As LME copper prices continued rising last week, the SHFE/LME copper price ratio weakened. TC/RC for spot copper concentrate remained stable, but as the Chinese New Year nears, copper smelters' buying interest abated further. Traders also expressed low interest in purchasing copper concentrate in overseas markets.
In China's domestic markets, SHFE current-month copper contract prices continued to march higher, but failed to boost activity on the copper concentrate markets. Market players held the view that copper concentrate prices still had rising space for the near future as shipments have decreased.
Negotiations on TC/RC for long-term copper concentrate contracts are still going on at present, sending markets into a stalemate. TC/RC for spot copper concentrate last week remained around USD 70/mt. Inasmuch as the supply of domestic spot copper concentrate was limited, traders continued purchasing in overseas markets largely. However, sourcing difficulties and comparatively high prices still depressed copper concentrate imports. As such, SMM believes that China's spot copper concentrate market will remain muted ahead of Chinese New Year holiday.