SHANGHAI, Mar. 24 (SMM) – LME copper prices fluctuated widely around $6,450 per tonne given mixed economic indicators and speculation about timing of Fed’s interest rate hike.
Trading for copper concentrate was light last week as both buyers and sellers refused to budge on prices. Small and medium mining companies overseas still showed low selling interest.
As large mining enterprises, such as Codelco, Freeport-McMoRan, Glencore Xstrata, and BHP Billiton, all planned to expand capacity, domestic smelters expected higher global concentrate output during 2014. Thus, spot TCs for copper concentrate asked by Chinese smelters were above $100 per tonne last week.
Foreign ore suppliers, however, were still keeping quotes for spot TCs low at $80-90 per tonne, believing that China’s blister copper capacity would grow significantly this year, pushing up demand for copper concentrate. In addition, foreign traders were in no rush to sell given falling copper prices.
Since domestic smelters were generally holding only 1-2 months of concentrate, and those smelters which had booked limited term shipments would start restocking, spot TCs might move lower to near the TCs for term shipments this year.
Trading for domestic concentrate was still light last week. Prices for domestic copper concentrate (20%) increased to 80-81% of refined copper prices, and prices for copper concentrate (25%) were up to 84% of copper prices.