SHANGHAI, Dec 22 (SMM) – Spot copper concentrate treatment charges (TCs) edged down slightly this week with lower trading liquidity. As of Friday, SMM’s imported spot concentrate TCs were assessed at $82-90/mt, down $1/mt from last week.
“There’s almost zero transactions this week and the market is very quiet. Inventory at larger smelters remained sufficient. I think the market will only become more active in the second half of January,” a trader source said.
In addition to less trading interest at year-end, the lack of benchmark TCs for 2018 also meant no clear direction for the market. SMM understood that many smelters have fixed their 2018 annual contracts on volumes, awaiting finalisation on prices.
We expect the benchmark negotiations to be delayed until the second half of January as the Christmas and New Year holidays start next week.
China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) is set to discuss a floor price for the first quarter of next year on December 29, sources said. This is likely to have an impact on the annual benchmark price.
SMM believes the floor price for the March 2018 quarter would be lower than the $95/mt set for the December 2017 quarter. However, the drop may be small given its possible influence on the annual price.
In the domestic market, the pricing coefficient was steady this week. For clean copper concentrate with 20% Cu it stood at 84-85.5% at a price-to-factory basis, and at 86.5-88% for concentrate with 25% Cu.
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