SHANGHAI, Mar. 19 (SMM) – The first corporate bond default in China last week triggered concerns over the impact of China’s reforms, and the country’s poor export data also dealt a blow to the market, driving commodities prices down. LME copper prices dropped as much as $350 per tonne last week, testing a low of $6,400 per tonne. Chinese copper smelters were more willing to purchase copper concentrate, but strong bearish mood eroded selling interest at foreign copper concentrate suppliers, leaving trading muted.
Spot TCs for copper concentrate remained little changed last week at $100-105 per tonne. Chinese smelters, though sitting on ample copper concentrate stocks, were hoping to build inventories needed for production in the future when copper prices fall. But most suppliers showed little selling interest. Some copper traders, however, were also hit by weak copper prices and were eager to sell.
Chinese copper mines were still under heavy sales pressure as well due to continuous declines in copper prices, with some private mines planning to curtail or suspend production should copper prices fall further. Price offers for domestic copper concentrate (20%) fell to 79% of refined copper prices, and prices for copper concentrate (25%) fell to 82% of copper prices. Trading for domestic copper concentrate was also thin.