SHANGHAI, Oct. 29 (SMM) – The US nonfarm payroll data released last week fell short of expectations, and Fitch announced that the US debt level exceeded the limit for AAA rated nations, hurting market sentiment. Thus, many investors liquidated positions out of prevailing caution, causing LME copper prices to fall by $140 per tonne last Wednesday and hit a weekly low of $7,138 per tonne. Fewer quotations for copper concentrate were reported from SMEs overseas last week, but quotes for copper concentrate remained high. Domestic copper smelters showed low buying interest given high inventories.
Last week, spot TC/RCs of copper concentrate stabilized in the $100-110-per-tonne range. The stable spot TC/RCs were due mainly to low buying interest from smelters following a surge in imports. China’s copper concentrate imports rose 35% in September, according to China Customs data. High inventories at smelters would continue to affect spot buying interest in the short term. Domestic smelters also expected term TC/RC to climb above $100 per tonne ahead of the 2014 long-term copper concentrate contract negotiations. However, new capacity of copper smelting coming online during 2014 will weaken smelters’ negotiation power. SMM estimated that term TC/RCs would range from $90-100 per tonne.
Prices for copper concentrate (20%) were 85.5% of refined copper prices, and 86-88% of refined copper prices for copper concentrate (25%). Copper concentrate output is expected to rise in October after falling in September, as mining enterprises gradually resume production following environment protection upgrades.