SHANGHAI, Feb. 27 (SMM) – Copper concentrate prices dropped significantly last week, weighing greatly on China's copper concentrate trading as traders still took a wait-and-see posture. Besides, some Chinese copper mines still did not formally commence operations following the Chinese New Year holiday, keeping China's spot copper concentrate supply low.
In overseas markets, although the SHFE/LME copper price ratio rose slightly, copper concentrate market activity remained sluggish. First, traders expressed low interest in importing copper concentrate ahead of the holiday, while transaction volumes for spot copper concentrate were also thin. Second, divergence between talks on spot copper concentrate TC/RC remained big, incurring difficulties for copper concentrate to enter Chinese markets over the short term.
Negotiations for TC/RC for both spot copper concentrate and long-term contracts of copper concentrate continue, with markets putting focus on talks between Chinese smelters and BHP. According to SMM survey, most large Chinese copper smelters have signed TC/RC for long-term contracts. But shipments of imported copper concentrate decreased last week as TC/RC dropped to USD 65-70/mt. In China's domestic market, pricing coefficient of copper concentrate (Cu 20%) was 85.5%, down slightly from previous stages. Nevertheless, it was worth noting that a lot of traders stepped up efforts in exploring copper concentrate overseas following the holiday. In this context, China's spot copper concentrate market transactions will increase gradually in early March.